By Bill Kline
More than a passion play. It’s hard work. It’s grabbing opportunities. It’s discovering that there is more than one path to becoming a medical professional.
And once you’re there, it’s realizing that your life does not have to be 100 percent work with no time for family, friends, and fun.
Forty students with medical field aspirations attended the “Work/Life Balance in Medicine” alumni panel Oct. 3. Alumni from a range of medical professions discussed their experiences and answered questions about medical school admissions.
- Dr. Susan Bauman ’74, assistant director, Delaware Valley Family Health Center, Milford, N.J.; director of palliative care services, Hunterdon Medical Center, Flemington, N.J.; M.D., University of Pennsylvania
- Dr. Nuri Eraydin ’99, dentist, Maple Glen, Pa.; D.M.D., Temple University School of Dentistry
- Dr. Ross Podell ’88, internal medicine specialist, Main Line Health, Paoli, Pa.; M.D., Hahnemann University School of Medicine
- Dr. Katie Schrack Poor ’03, ophthalmologist, Mielcarek Eye Lifetime Vision, Media, Pa.; M.D., Jefferson Medical College
- Dr. Anne Schwartz ’87, veterinarian/surgeon, Tri-State Equine Surgical Specialists, Providence, R.I.; D.V.M., University of Missouri-Columbia
“Balancing your work and life means knowing what’s important to you and then choosing a lifestyle that fits into that,” said Bauman, adding that balance for some might be 90 percent work and 10 percent free time—or vice versa.
“Thinking about work/life balance has kind of made me nervous, especially being a woman,” said Erica Gennaro ’14, a biology major who is applying to medical schools. “I’ve met a lot of male physicians who were hesitant about encouraging it for me if I wanted to have a family. But this event made me see that it is possible, and that you can still do other things you love.”
Students heard that they had options after college. Three of the panelists, for example, did not go directly to medical school after leaving College Hill.
“We learned there’s not one set path to get to your goal,” said Andrew Kamilaris ’14, a neuroscience major. “It’s up to us to make a decision depending on our goals.”
Panelists also noted that acceptance into medical school often requires more than good grades and test scores.
“You have to be different; you have to stand out,” said Eraydin. He and other panelists recommended doing research or an internship, working or job shadowing in a medical field, studying abroad, and applying for fellowships.
Two attendees were recipients of the David M. Nalven ’88 Summer Research Fellowship.
Briette Karanfilian ’14, a biology major, conducted research on European starlings with Michael Butler, assistant professor of biology.
Rebecca LaRosa ’15, also a biology major, studied an invasive species of turtle with James Dearworth, associate professor of biology.
Members of the Nalven family—Arthur and Rami Nalven, David’s parents, and Dr. Lisa Nalven, his sister—attended the event. They established the Nalven fellowship in 1991 in memory of David. Panelists Podell and Schwartz were close friends.
The panel, sponsored by the Health Professions Program, was moderated by Nancy McCreary Waters, associate professor of biology and chair of the Health Professions Faculty Advisory Committee.