My name is Daniela Ruiz and I am currently a fourth-year majoring in Health Science on the pre-medical track. I am from the southernmost tip of Texas, from a small town called Brownsville. I decided to pursue a career in medicine, specifically starting my pre-medical path at Northeastern University because of the vast resources offered to all students.
A little back story: I transferred to Northeastern University my second year of college which was a little scary since all my family lives in the south. However, within weeks I felt right at home. I was able to establish many friendships and learn about what a pre-medical student at Northeastern means. I have joined a variety of organizations such as the Northeastern Cheerleading team and pre-med clubs such as MAPS. This past year I started working at the Pre-health/Pre-med office as an office assistant. This position has really helped me learn about all the medical school requirements, such as classes, volunteer hours, and shadowing experiences. The Pre-health advisors have provided many resources on how to pursue a career in healthcare and have been very helpful to me and to many other students, especially in a city like Boston!
I can say Boston is an epicenter of medicine, when compared to a town like mine where the nearest hospital is miles away. There is a ton of opportunities from volunteering, to shadowing, to scribing, and many more which Northeastern helps you get! Through the Northeastern Cooperative Education Program, I was able to get my Emergency Medical Technician certification to work as an EMT in the greater Boston area. I was exposed to many medical/trauma emergencies in a pre-hospital setting which has been very rewarding. Working as an EMT has also helped foster relationships with doctors, nurses and other staff members throughout many hospitals in the area that I got to visit. I was working when the COVID-19 pandemic started which gave me the opportunity to work in the front lines. I saw how overwhelmed the health care system was and as a result helped drive my passion and desire to continue to help. I started performing COVID-19 testing through the Department of Public Health throughout the state of Massachusetts to nursing homes, group homes, and drive-thru testing sites. I was able to make a small impact to the health care system only as a pre-med student because of the opportunities Northeastern has provided, like the co-op program.
Overall, I’ve focused on getting the experiences needed to apply to medical school and, coincidentally, improved my time management skills by dividing my time for classes/study time, work experiences, and club involvement. Although, I have been trying to get it done, I’ve realized that trying to get into medical school does take a lot of time and effort, but I know that the results, whether in the short-term or in the long-term, can be rewarding. Thus, my advice to you: do not give up, and take every opportunity that Northeastern has to offer because even the click of a link on the pre-med/pre-health website, the co-op application, or the long hours of study, can start shaping your future.