Andrea Donofrio ’18, Julia Raleigh ’18 and Shivam Tewari ’18 have all earned spots in SUNY Upstate Medical School’s highly selective Early Assurance Program for college juniors.
The competitive opportunity guarantees that students can enroll in the school’s medical program after they graduate, given they complete all necessary undergraduate courses and the MCAT. The pre-health curriculum at Hobart and William Smith gives students, like Donofrio, Raleigh and Tewari, the launching point to pursue their career goals.
“As a first-year student I never thought that medical school was a possibility or that I was capable of getting in, but I’ve learned that with a lot of hard work and confidence in your abilities, you can get anywhere you want in life,” says Raleigh, a biochemistry major with a health professions minor, who credits the Health Professions Advisory Program for supporting her during the process.
Donofrio, Raleigh and Tewari each took a different path to their decision to apply to medical school, ranging from prior experiences in hospitals, standout mentors and real-life experience programs at the Colleges. Once the students decided to pursue a medical degree, they worked through the application process, including practice interviews, with Health Professions and Fellowships Adviser Scott MacPhail in the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education.
Raleigh says MacPhail encouraged her to seek research opportunities, which in turn led to a research position in a surgical laboratory at Upstate Medical this past summer. “My experience in the lab gave me a lot of insight about becoming a doctor and allowed me to network with many different people in the medical field,” says Raleigh, a faculty scholar.
Donofrio, a double major in biology and Spanish and Hispanic studies, discovered her passion for healthcare while working alongside physicians during experiences coordinated through the Colleges’ Guaranteed Internship and job shadow programs. Among her internship locations were Geneva General Hospital, LifeCare Medical Associates and Auburn Community Hospital.
“Career Services helped me to connect with physicians who also attended Hobart and William Smith for their undergraduate careers,” says Donofrio, a Blackwell scholar. “Throughout my clinical internship experiences, every physician that I encountered displayed a sincere devotion and unfaltering determination that stimulated my desire to pursue a career in medicine.”
Before arriving at HWS, Tewari, a biochemistry, physics and environmental studies triple major, took part in the New Vision Medical Program in Geneva during his senior year of high school. The program opens pre-college students to the world of medical careers.
“Programs like New Visions during my senior year of high school allowed me to cultivate my excitement for medicine with hands-on learning and day-to-day clinical experience, while humanitarian work reminds me of the reason why I want to be a doctor,” Tewari says.
Tewari also cites his First-Year Seminar as the defining moment of figuring out his passion for physics, which couples as a foundation for his path to medical school.
“My First-Year Seminar was titled ‘Einstein, Relativity and Time’ and not only did it inspire me to pursue a major in physics, but it pushed me to grapple with the strangeness associated with time and its stark reality,” recalls Tewari, a Hersh scholar.
More information about the Health Professions Advisory Program at HWS is available online.