W&J students use time between terms to get acquainted with medical professionals

Created: January 24, 2020
Last Updated: April 2, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (Jan. 24, 2020)—Between the fall and spring semesters, Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) students find ways to get ahead.

During JayTerm, a two-week optional study period in which the College offers courses on campus and abroad, a group of underclassmen explored their options for the future in Professor of Biology Dr. Ron Bayline’s “Perspectives in Medicine.”

In the class, W&J pre-health students had the chance to learn from medical professionals, many of whom are W&J alumni, who spoke with students about their personal experiences in professions across the medical field. They discussed professional expectations, work-life balance, and the future of health care. Students visited the professionals at health care facilities across the region and heard from them during class lectures on W&J’s campus.

The students met orthopedists, ophthalmologists, dentists, family medicine practitioners, oncologists, public health professionals and more over the course of the two-week term.

“The class provides a deeper perspective in the field of medicine that can be advantageous for me to learn as a freshman,” Victoria Wilson ’23 said. “It’s been great to hear from MDs, DOs, and PAs, and to really learn about their experiences.”

When Dr. Ron Valdiserri ’73 visited with the students, he discussed his time working in the public health sector, including stints working with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. The students asked Dr. Valdiserri about a typical day in his field, what the work force in public health looks like, and what’s next for the field.

Valdiserri encouraged the students to explore their interests, and shared that his W&J education was a great jumping point for him to go deeper into medicine and find his path in public health.

For the students, meeting Valdiserri and the other professionals added another dimension to their understanding of the careers they hope to pursue.

“Learning the different personalities of everyone who presented to us has shown me how my own personality may fit in different areas,” Dylan Mayanja ’22 said. “They seem to really enjoy what they do, and I can see how I can have a lot of fun doing it, too.”

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