“Attending medical school and becoming a doctor have been my primary goals for as long as I can remember,” says MaryAlice Spin ’16, who recently completed a successful first semester at SUNY Upstate Medical School.
Inspired by her grandfather, a retired urologist, Spin entered HWS with the goal of becoming a doctor, majoring in biochemistry and minoring in health professions. After graduation, she enrolled at SUNY Upstate with support from the Health Professions Scholarship Program through the U.S. Navy. Currently commissioned as a naval reserve officer, Spin attends medical school tuition-free in exchange for military service after graduation. (In the photo above, Spin stands with classmates Elizabeth Stone (SUNY Binghamton ’16), Courtney Franceschi ’16 and Hannah Connolly ’16 following their White Coat Ceremony at SUNY Upstate.)
During the fall, Spin and her cohort of 165 medical students took microbiology, immunology, genetics and biochemistry, and Spin was recently accepted into a two-year elective program, MIRACLE, which pairs medical students with a woman who is expecting a child. Through the MIRACLE program, she will attend pre- and post-natal appointments with the mother and will be present at the birth of the child. She has also shadowed specialists in pediatric anesthesiology and has a developing interest in surgery.
While she is undecided on her area of focus, Spin says she is nevertheless drawn to pediatrics, “because I love working with kids. Most of the volunteer programs I participated in during high school and college were related to child care.”
As an HWS student, Spin worked as a teaching assistant in the Chemistry Department, served as publicity chair for Relay for Life, volunteered at the afterschool tutoring program “Neighbor’s Night” and served as a William Smith mentor. She was active the Health Professions club, Colleges Against Cancer and Operations Smile.
Working with Scott MacPhail, health professions counselor at the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education, Spin also interned with Finger Lakes Orthopedic Group, shadowing in clinics and operating rooms.
“I have since learned that medical schools love to see that the applicants have some shadowing experience,” says Spin, who received credit toward her minor through that internship. “I am so thankful for my experience at HWS – the challenging academics, the everlasting friendships and the good times shaped me into the medical student I am today.”