Meet Jane: The Wanderlust Pre-Med Student

Name: Jane Moon

Year: 2nd

Major: Biology

Hometown: La Crescenta, CA

Favorite Netflix Show to Binge Watch: The Walking Dead

 

Why did you decide to follow the pre-med route?

A lot of people start on this route because of their parents, but what solidified it for me was joining the pre-med frat, Phi Delta Epsilon. Through PhiDE, I gained access to a multitude of resources such as a volunteer medical trip to Peru and being a nurse aid at a private pediatrics office. These opportunities give me firsthand experience of what it is like in the field. But why medicine specifically? I chose medicine over other service careers because I am passionate about helping people who are in pain; seeing someone else in pain makes me feel pain and I want to help them. I want to be a doctor because I can come up with the solution to heal patients and it’s still very personal in which I get to know people one-on-one.

 

Can you tell me a little bit more about your trip to Peru?

It was actually spontaneous because my friend asked me on the whim; I’ve always wanted to travel and I’d be able to work as a medical volunteer, so of course I said yes!  During the first week, I was very scared, homesick, and out of my comfort zone.  But once I realized I wouldn’t get an opportunity to do this again, I overcame it and began to be more outgoing and talk to the locals.  In fact, I befriended the dentist at my clinic, learned about the complexities of the healthcare system in Peru, and experienced the culture through The Sun God Festival and watching the dancing in the streets. One of my favorite days was going to Machu Picchu at sunrise. A typical day at the clinic would begin by waking up two hours early because it was a 45 minute drive from the city.  Because we were in a rural area, many of the patients that came in had farm injuries. I was also able to join in medical campaigns; these campaigns set up a clinic in a community that doesn’t have access to medical supplies.  We would then check all community members for free; I also accompanied the dentist to schools to help with fluoride treatments.  This was an amazing experience; I got to meet medical students and those in residency who all gave good tips on the path to medicine.

If someone is interested in pursuing the pre-med track, what advice would you have for them?

Definitely have a good reason why you want to do it; it’s a long and arduous process.  You have to really really want it.  I would suggest finding resources on campus.  A network of pre-med students is helpful because it gives you the opportunity to get access to valuable medical-related experiences, allows you to learn more and more about the classes you will take on this path, interview experience, information regarding medical schools, and preparation for the MCAT.  If you don’t have a network of pre-med students, seek advising from somewhere. Just don’t try to do it alone!

You’re very busy, so how do you find time between friends, school, a relationship, and free time?

If something is important to you, you’ll always find time to do it. I always do volleyball when I have time, it’s a good stress reliever. I maybe forego a little bit of sleep, but I can always make-up for it with a nap later. You can’t sacrifice time with friends because burnout is real and it’s not good. I try to do a little of everything and if I just need a moment to chill, I try to enjoy that moment and not stress about wasting time or being a bad student.  Make sure you have fun, college is fun, and short. College is such a big growing point in life and not everyone gets to have this chance, so you should enjoy every moment of it.

When you do have free time, what do you like to do?

As I mentioned earlier, I love playing volleyball. Though sometimes I’m just scrolling through Facebook and tagging friends in memes. I also hang out with friends and when it’s warmer I love going to the beach. I’ve learned to make free time and not just rely on it to “pop up”. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully, a junior in med school and trying to figure out more specifically what type of doctor I want to be. I am thinking possibly pediatrics, but that might change as I get more experience! 

What is one of your fondest memories at UCSB?

There was one day, freshman year, in which my entire friend group consisting of 14 people all went to the San Nic sand courts to play beach volleyball and spike ball on the lawn.  I was so happy to spend time with everyone.  Thankfully, one of my friends captured it all on his camera and I love looking back at the photos.  It was a perfect day: sunny and warm; we just played music and it was “so SB."