Rachel Kopicki ’12 will get the opportunity to realize her dream of becoming a doctor at SUNY Upstate Medical University, where she was recently accepted as a medical student.
“I have wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember,” says Kopicki, who was inspired by her late mother’s compassionate career as a nurse. “I participated in the New Vision Medical Careers Program during high school, which confirmed my medical goals by providing me with the opportunity to shadow in 13 departments at a local hospital.”
When Kopicki received notification of her acceptance from SUNY Upstate, she was ecstatic as it was her first choice for medical school. “I have been interested in SUNY Upstate since I had the opportunity to visit during my senior year of high school,” says Kopicki, a European studies major with a minor in biology and classics. “Their rural medical program was the final touch in making this my ideal school because I have always desired to provide for the medically underserved.”
Primarily interested in going into pediatrics, Kopicki is also considering concentrating in family medicine because it would allow her to work with both children and adults.
Associate Professor of Chemistry Erin Pelkey had the opportunity to teach Kopicki during two semesters of organic chemistry. “Rachel is a very a serious student,” says Pelkey. “She embraces the problem solving aspect of the science – a fact which will likely bode well for her in medical school.”
Toward her goals, Kopicki has found a lot of support and help from friends, family and several key members of the HWS community, including Health Professions Counselor Scott MacPhail and her honor adviser, Assistant Professor of Classics James Capreedy.”I am so thankful for both my support system at HWS and my family,” says Kopicki. “They have been integral in helping me reach my goals.”
During her time at HWS, Kopicki has taken advantage of the Colleges career services network, participating in four separate clinical internships. “As an intern, I observed each doctor and learned a great deal about each of their specialties and the medical field in general,” says Kopicki. “Additionally, I was able to interact with patients and discuss cases with the physicians.”
While studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, Kopicki visited medical facilities throughout Denmark, Sweden and Estonia to learn about various medical systems.
An active volunteer, Kopicki is a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters, a coordinator for America Reads, and a member of Learn to Lead. She works as a programming assistant at the Center for Global Education.