This summer, the SAS Honors Program community celebrated the news that two honors students, Raaga Rambhatla '21 and Usman Zareef '21 were offered admission into Robert Wood Johnson Medical School's BA/MD program, a program designed for a select group of high-achieving premedical students of Rutgers University to have conditional, early-acceptance to Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Raaga Rambhatla is a Cell Biology and Neuroscience major from North Brunswick, New Jersey. She writes, "my biggest advice for anyone pursuing this program (or medicine in general): find tangible ways to put your interests and skills to the test! Discover what really excites you about the field and what doesn’t. Whether it is research, clubs, or work, it is never too early to start. Being in a clinical setting, as a scribe, volunteer, or a technician, for a substantial period of time can be a great lens into what your medical future possibly entails. Don’t get caught up in the number of clubs you participate in or the number of hours you volunteer in hospitals for, but rather the experience and interpersonal skills you are gaining out of those endeavors.”
Rambhatla also recalled, "apart from my classes and extracurriculars, my job as an ophthalmic assistant at an eye clinic has been the greatest source of experience and affirmation that medicine is my one true calling. Every day, I learn the importance of empathy, trust, and a simple smile in building strong patient-doctor relationships. Although I find the clinical environment stressful and taxing at times, the satisfaction of communicating with patients and working on effective treatment plans with them is far too rewarding to not make it my lifelong career.”
Usman Zareef is a Genetics major from Edison, New Jersey. He advises other students who are aiming to apply to this program to aim, "beyond the basics of opening an HPO file, volunteering at the hospital and keeping your grades up. You should make your efforts about validating your interest in medicine not only to the admissions committee but to yourself. I have learned that this can be achieved by trying a lot of things initially, picking a few and actively participating in them consistently. Never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone because that is when opportunities arise. For example, talking to your professors in class and even doctors when asking about shadowing opportunities will result in more opportunities for you that will in turn help you validate your interests."
We are proud of their accomplishment!