Meet The Motivate MD Team

  • Leadership
  • Editors
  • Advisors
  • Interview Prep
  • Authors
Founder + CEO

Drew Porter, M.D.

Drew is the visionary leader for Motivate MD’s services and innovative products. He’s currently an Emergency Medicine attending in TN.

COO

Becca Porter

Becca leads the daily operations at Motivate MD, including product development, brand identity, and managing our incredible team of med students and physicians.

Michaela B., M.D./MBA

Emergency Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: UVA

Aditi R., M.D.

Emergency Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: Cooper Medical School

Jake R., M.D.

Internal Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: Johns Hopkins

Sunny H., M.D.

Dermatology Resident
Former Medical School: University of Vermont

Adwaiy M., M.D.

Cardiothoracic Surgery Resident
Former Medical School: Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine

Erin O., M.D.

Psychiatry Resident
Former Medical School: University of Miami

Rhys

MS1
Yale School of Medicine

Tara

MS1
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Kira

MS1
New York Medical College

Victoria S

MS1
Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Akosua, MPH

MS4
The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

Ifeoma

MS2
University of Pritzker School of Medicine

Quinn

Quinn

MS3
NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Gawon

MS1
University of California, Irvine School of Medicine

Michael B.

MS1
University of California, Irvine School of Medicine

Tiffany

MS1
University of California San Francisco School of Medicine

Anu

MS1
University of California San Diego School of Medicine

Julie

Julie

MS2
Duke University School of Medicine

Khaila

MS4
Duke University School of Medicine

Vicky

MS4 | MD/PhD
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Bridget

MS1
The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School

Cindy

MS2 | MD/PhD
Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Darshi

MS1
The Renaissance School Of Medicine At Stony Brook University In New York

Autumn

MS2
Rush Medical College

Marilynn

MS1
Long School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center

Melis

MS1
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

Harry

MS2
Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Haya

MS3
University of Arizona, College of Medicine Phoenix

Filoteia

MS1 | MD/PhD
University of TN Health Science Center College of Medicine

Jack

MS3
Wright State BSOM

Haley

MS2
Rush Medical College

Trey

MS2
University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville

Marisa

MS3
Miller School of Medicine - University of Miami

Alexis

MS2
Loyola Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Natalie

MS2
Medical College of Wisconsin

Jamie

MS3
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Khyati

MS4
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Emma S

MS2
Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine

Jackie

MS4
Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine

Emma K

MS2
University of Arizona, College of Medicine Phoenix

Adina

MS2
University of Arizona, College of Medicine Phoenix

Emma M

MS1
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Sarah B

Sarah B

MS2
Creighton University School of Medicine

Megan

MS2
Medical College of Georgia

Sarah M

MS1
Emory

Charmi

MS2
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Sam

MS3
University of Minnesota Medical School

Emma F, D.O.

Internal Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: Burrell

Anuj P., D.O.

Anesthesiology Resident
Former Medical School: University of New England

Michael N., D.O.

Emergency Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: VCOM

Anastasia

MS2
Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM)

AJ

MS1
Touro College Of Osteopathic Medicine (TOUROCOM)

Raj

MS3
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)

Shilpa

MS2
Western University of Health Sciences

Nada

MS4
Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM)

Deepti

MS2
Western University of Health Sciences

Ehab A., M.D.

Internal Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: Georgetown

Aditi R., M.D.

Emergency Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: Cooper Medical School

Jake R., M.D.

Internal Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: Johns Hopkins

Rhys

MS1
Yale School of Medicine

Quinn

Quinn

MS3
NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Sriram

MS1
The University of Washington School of Medicine

Kira

MS1
New York Medical College

Julie

Julie

MS3
Duke

Michaela F.

MS2
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Tiffany

MS1
UCSF School of Medicine

Anu

MS1
University of California San Diego School of Medicine

Marilynn

MS1
Long School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center

Khaila

MS4
Duke

Ankitha

MS3
Wake Forest School of Medicine

Akosua

MS4
The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

Melis

MS1
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

Sheena

MS4
University of Illinois College of Medicine

Megan

MS2
Medical College of Georgia

Sam

MS3
University of Minnesota Medical School

Claudia

MS2
Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine

Erin

MS4
University of Miami

Jabre is a mentor in the medical field with MyMentor.

Jabre

MS3
University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine

Khyati

MS3
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Chris

MS2
Penn State College of Medicine

Charmi

MS2
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Olivia

MS3
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Jamie

MS3
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Haley

MS2
Rush Medical College

Emma K

MS1
University of Arizona, College of Medicine Phoenix

Adina

MS1
University of Arizona, College of Medicine Phoenix

Sarah B

Sarah B

MS1
Creighton University School of Medicine

Adriana

MS2
University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville

Sereena

MS2
TCU & UNTHSC School of Medicine in Fort Worth Texas

Alexis

MS2
Loyola Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Ajibola

MS2
Tulane University School of Medicine

Nicholas

MS3
Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston

Aarushi

MS1
Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah

Anuj Patel, D.O.

Anesthesiology Resident
Former Medical School: University of New England

Emma F, D.O.

Internal Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: Burrell

Michael N, D.O.

Emergency Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: VCOM

Raj

MS2
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)

Shilpa

MS1
Western University of Health Sciences

Nada

MS3
Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM)

Michaela B., M.D./MBA

Emergency Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: UVA

Ehab A., M.D.

Internal Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: Georgetown
Admissions Committee Experience

Jake R., M.D.

Internal Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: Johns Hopkins
Admissions Committee Experience

Aditi R., M.D.

Emergency Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: Cooper Medical School

Akosua, MPH

MS4
The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Admissions Committee Experience

Ajibola

MS2
Tulane University School of Medicine
Admissions Committee Experience

Victoria O

MS4
The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Admissions Committee Experience

Sierra

MS4
Duke University School of Medicine
Admissions Committee Experience

Harry

MS2
Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Alexis

MS2
Loyola Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
Admissions Committee Experience

Rhys

MS1
Yale School of Medicine

Marilynn

MS1
Long School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center

Quinn

Quinn

MS3
NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Michaela F.

MS2
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Claudia

MS2
Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine

Anu

MS1
University of California San Diego School of Medicine

Victoria S

MS2
Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Sheena

MS4
University of Illinois College of Medicine

Cindy

MD-PhD Student
Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Darshi

MS1
The Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in New York

Autumn

MS2
Rush Medical College

Melis

MS1
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

Alex

MS3
Lewis Katz School of Medicine

Jamie

MS3
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Aarushi

MS1
Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah

Jack

MS3
Wright State BSOM

Haya

MS3
University of Arizona, College of Medicine Phoenix

Haley

MS2
Rush Medical College

Chris

MS3
Penn State College of Medicine

Trey

MS2
University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville

Natalie

MS2
Medical College of Wisconsin

Sam

MS3
University of Minnesota Medical School

Adina

MS2
University of Arizona, College of Medicine Phoenix

Sarah B

Sarah B

MS2
Creighton University School of Medicine

Jackie

MS4
Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine

Sebrena

MS2
University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville

Justin

MS2
Penn State College of Medicine

Sarah M

MS1
Emory

Megan

MS2
Medical College of Georgia

Michael N, D.O.

Emergency Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: VCOM

Anuj Patel, D.O.

Anesthesiology Resident
Former Medical School: University of New England

Emma F, D.O.

Internal Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: Burrell

Raj

MS2
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)

Shilpa

MS2
Western University of Health Sciences

Nada

MS4
Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM)

Matthew W., M.D.

Christine

MS2 at Harvard Medical School

Brittany

MS2 at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine

John

MS3 at SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Joe

MS3 at Quillen College of Medicine

Emma

MS3 at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

Nada

MS2 at Nova Southeastern University’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine

Alexa

MS2 at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Jamie

MS2 at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Ankitha

MS1 at Wake Forest School of Medicine

Ehab Abaza, MD

Internal Medicine Resident
NYU

Hello all! My name is Ehab Abaza. I am an Internal Medicine resident at NYU and formerly attended Georgetown University School of Medicine. As a first generation college graduate and medical student, it was always difficult to find solid career advice, essay help, and interview prep. As a result, I often had to seek out mentors on my own, which can sometimes be overwhelming! Throughout my educational career, I have come to learn the value of great mentorship and hope to share the wisdom I’ve gained with those pursuing the wonderful field of medicine. As a first year medical student, I served as the Academic Director of High School Medical Programs at Georgetown University with the goal of inspiring high school students to enter the field of medicine. Throughout my medical school career, I served as a mentor to underclassman and held workshops in study methods, clinical clerkship skills, essay writing, and interview skills. I am a mentor and advisor to several pre-medical students through programs such as One Step Ahead Mentoring and Prescribe it Forward. I have served as a mock interviewer for Pre-medical students at Georgetown University and Fordham University. Lastly, I served as an interviewer for the Georgetown University School of Medicine Office of Admissions, interviewing applicants for medical school. My goal is to always better understand the applicant so that together, we can create a neatly packaged application that will get you into medical school!

Aditi, M.D.

Emergency Medicine
Mt. Sinai Morningside-West in NYC

Hi everyone! I’m currently a PGY-1 Emergency Medicine resident at Mt. Sinai Morningside-West in NYC. I went to medical school at Cooper Medical School in NJ. I went to Rutgers for my B.A. in Genetics, minor in Nutrition as well as my Masters in Biomedical Science before starting medical school. 

Throughout my time in medical school, I got many amazing opportunities to expand on my passions for medical education and mentorship with both my younger medical school colleagues as well as undergraduate students. I worked as a mentor during my third and fourth years of medical school and got paired with undergraduate premedical students. I was able to help them with everything from study tips, essay editing, requesting letters of recommendation and helping them craft their personal statement and resume. During my time in medical school, I also served as our school’s clinic captain where I got the chance educate and mentor first and second year medical students in their clinical skills in a patient centered environment. I have also tutored students for MCAT prep as well as USLME Step 1 and Step 2 prep.  

Medicine is a long journey and I strongly believe that it is vital for everyone to find their own unique passions within medicine. Not only will this make life more enjoyable, but it will also make you a better student and future physician. For me, this is mentorship, medical education as well as improving access and affordability in healthcare especially for minority and marginalized populations. I have been fortunate to have great mentors to help me navigate my medical school experience and find my place and passions along the way. My goal in joining the MotivateMD team is to be a resource for future medical students in crafting their own unique journey. I’m excited to work with you and be a part of your journey!

Jake R., M.D.

Internal Medicine Resident
Former Medical School: Johns Hopkins

Hi! My name is Jake, and I am a first year Internal Medicine resident at UCLA. I went to undergrad at Washington and Lee University where I studied Neuroscience and Poverty and Human Capability Studies while also competing on the soccer and track teams. I took a gap year after college during which I worked in research in Washington, D.C., and competed with a track team. I then attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where I developed my current interest in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. I am the first member of my family to attend medical school and therefore have much experience navigating that process as a newcomer to the field. 

At Johns Hopkins, I led an after school mentorship program for local high school students in East Baltimore and worked in community lung health education. I also served on the admissions committee for the School of Medicine, allowing me the opportunity to experience firsthand the admissions process from the side of the administration. I also served as a class representative on the Medical Student Senate, advocating for student wellness and curricular enhancements. Additionally, I had the opportunity to complete several research projects. In one project, I traveled to South Africa to complete a study assessing tuberculosis screening in emergency department settings. Since discovering my passion for critical care, I have also worked in research related to mechanical ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). I enjoy medical education and have taken on many opportunities during medical school to teach students in the earlier stages of their training. 

I am excited to be a part of the Motivate MD team and share my knowledge and experience with mentorship and admissions success. I know from firsthand experience how important it is to receive strong guidance and I am happy to be here to help in that process.

Rhys

MS1
Yale School of Medicine

Hi! My name is Rhys (pronounced like “Reese’s Pieces”) and I am an incoming M1 for the 2022 year at Yale School of Medicine.

I have upwards of 9 years experience mentoring peers, most recently aiding students through the premedical path at my undergrad. I also have worked as an executive function/planning tutor for Los Angeles area high school and college students. Earlier in college, I worked as a research aide/teaching assistant helping students leverage “writing-to-learn” in order to improve their understanding of complex concepts.

After graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering and Health Policy from the University of Southern California in 2021, I took a gap year primarily to scribe at a pediatric clinic to boost my clinical experience hours and to continue to work on a philanthropic start-up I co-founded while at USC.

At USC, I had multiple research experiences ranging from biomedical device research in a hybrid wet lab to policy analysis. I also was heavily involved in pro-bono consulting for non-profits and social enterprises.

I have personal experience approaching the common “Why Medicine?” question from a non-traditional angle (engineering major/activities and low clinical hours compared to non-clinical), tying in a non-standard major “X factor” extracurricular into the overall theme of an application, and expressing interest in dual degrees/interdisciplinary medical careers (policy, public health etc).

I look forward to helping you plan for and execute your unique path to medical school!

Quinn

Quinn

MS3
NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Hey! My name is Quinn and I am a third year medical student at the NYU Grossmen School of Medicine. I am currently a MiniMentor at NYU where I mentor a group of four first year students! At the University of Florida prior to medical school I was a volunteer director for Alpha Epsilon Delta, a pre-health honor society, and helped lead a group of 15-20 pre-health students in volunteer activities, as well as being available through our website to give advice for premed students in our program. I am currently in-press for a write-up about a new vascular procedure here at NYU, and am published in a paper exploring a potential treatment for myotonic dystrophy! I have also volunteered at UF’s pediatric oncology and hematology unit and currently work as part of the referrals team for the Free Clinic here at NYU.

Sriram

MS1
The University of Washington School of Medicine

Hello! My name is Sriram and I am currently a first-year medical student at the University of Washington School of Medicine! My journey with mentoring started with seeing my peers struggle in class and feeling as though I could help them find alternative ways to both effectively learn and enjoy the material they were being taught. Whether it was connecting basketball analogies to general chemistry or dance analogies to cell biology, as a tutor, I was able to help my students not only improve their grades but learn to love learning. As I progressed through college, I started to receive many questions from younger pre-med students on what they should be doing to best prepare themselves for medical school. As a result, I joined and co-led the Pre-Health club at my school and through virtual live panels and interviews that occurred a few times throughout the school year, I was able to help many students using my experiences as a guide. 

In terms of my research, I co-led a project in the field of sudden cardiac death in athletes with the primary goal of exploring if using transthoracic echocardiograms (TTE) as a primary screening tool for male basketball athletes provided any additional benefits for detection of structural heart disease associated with sudden cardiac death. We found that over 99% of TTE’s performed did not identify any heart abnormalities in the student-athletes so other pre-screening techniques could be used in low-income communities with more confidence. This proved to be key when talking about expanding pre-screening to as many communities as possible. Being a student-athlete my whole life, this research is truly important to me and I plan to continue with it through medical school.

Austin AV, Sugumaran S, Drezner JA. The Role of Diagnostic Echocardiography in the Cardiovascular Screening of High School Student-Athletes (Abstract). Clin J Sport Med, 2020. 

I understand how difficult the pre-med process can be and getting into medical school can seem like a daunting task. However, I really believe that with proper planning and taking the process one step at a time, I can help you set yourself up for success in the medical school process! I look forward to the opportunity to help in any way I can!

Kira

MS1
New York Medical College

Hi! My name is Kira and I’m currently a first-year student at New York Medical College. Since I majored in English Literature in college, it’s always been important to me to incorporate my love of the humanities into my career in medicine. Throughout undergrad, I made it a priority to seek mentorship from and mentor other students who were pre-med while pursuing a discipline seemingly unrelated to medicine. I also spent two years in undergrad as a peer writing tutor where I helped fellow students with all sorts of writing assignments and papers. After graduation, I spent two years working in clinical research before beginning medical school.

I currently serve as Advisement Coordinator for the Pre-Med division of JOWMA, an organization for observant Jewish female physicians, medical students, and pre-medical students. There, I help pre-medical students anything and everything related to getting into medical school. I also am part of the Medical Educators Society at my school, where we aim to help our fellow students excel in their pre-clinical courses.

I strongly believe in doing what you love as a pre-med, whether it’s related to medicine or not–I participated in many non-science related extracurricular activities throughout undergrad. As an advisor, I am here to help you incorporate your unique interests into your application and journey to medicine!

Julie

Julie

MS3
Duke

Hi everyone! My name is Julie, and I’m a third-year medical student at Duke University. I did my undergrad at Rice University where I majored in Cognitive Sciences. In college, I was passionate about volunteering and community engagement and was involved in activities such as Splash, an educational outreach program, Patient Discharge Initiative, where we connected ED patients to social resources, and Alternative Spring Break. In medical school, I am excited to be a part of a group that helps transition individuals facing homeless into stable housing.

I also loved being a part of my college community and was an advisor for new students for three years. I helped welcome and introduce students to Rice by providing academic advice, being a friend and confidant to them, and checking in throughout the rest of their college career. It was incredible seeing each and every student’s growth and I enjoyed playing a supporting role in their journey. I was able to have a similar contribution while mentoring several underclassmen this past year for medical school applications and interviews. I also pursued research, and although I mainly worked in a cancer biology lab, I am published on a paper exploring aggression in healthcare workplaces. Aside from my academic interests, I love dancing and was a part of my school’s Bhangra team and South Indian Classical Dance team! Currently, I’m excited to be choreographing for my medical school’s annual parody musical!

Michaela F.

MS2
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Hello! My name is Michaela Farrell, I am a second-year medical student at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. Prior to medical school, I worked as a scribe in the emergency department for several years, and then in my gap year worked as a nursing assistant in the ICU. During that time, I also worked as a respite care provider for an individual with a TBI, volunteered in different community projects, and did research in the efficacy of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in HER2+ breast cancer. My current research is in environmental sustainability in healthcare, where we are working on implementing different practices to reduce the negative impact healthcare has on our planet. I am also involved with the organization Girls on the Run as a running coach to elementary school girls. I have plenty of experience with the application process, as I applied during two cycles, one of which was prior to the pandemic and one during. I have previous experience in advising students applying to medical school unofficially through my undergraduate university as well as through my job as a scribe, in which many coworkers were applying to school and asked me for advice about the process. My friends and family have also referred many people to me to advise them about the application process.

Tiffany

MS1
UCSF School of Medicine

My name is Tiffany and I am an incoming MS1 at UCSF School of Medicine. I am taking 1 gap year prior to starting medical school. I worked as a medical assistant and tutor this past year. I have experience in mentorship, mostly for high school students entering college through a mentorship program my research team and I founded in 2020. I really enjoy personally working with students and guiding them toward the next step of their academic journey. During my undergraduate years, I was involved in neuroscience and neurophysics research and wrote several abstracts for my lab. I was also involved in clinical research while on medical missions abroad, and presented at several symposiums and conferences.

Anu

MS1
University of California San Diego School of Medicine

Hi everyone! My name is Anu Panneerselvam, and I will be an incoming MS1 student at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine! I majored in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology and minored in neuroscience at UCLA. As an undergraduate student, I was a clinical research associate for the Student Stroke Team, a research associate studying omega-3 supplements for Alzheimer’s, and a research member of the LA Mobile Stroke Unit. Aside from my interests in neuroscience research, I was also a competitive dancer on a Bollywood dance team! 
 
Another passion I have is advocating for the developmental disability community. I decided to take one gap year, during which I worked as a behavioral therapist for children with autism, and applied to medical school. Having just gone through the medical school application cycle, I would love to give back and help other pre-med students in any way I can! As the first individual in my family to pursue a career in medicine, I often had to seek advice from mentors and friends. I understand how grueling and overwhelming this process can be, and I would love to pay forward all the help and valuable lessons I received. I have been working with friends to guide them on their own application journeys, and I look forward to working with more students in the future!

Marilynn

MS2
Long School of Medicine

I am currently finishing up my first year at Long School of Medicine, located on the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio campus. Prior to medical school I attended UT Austin, where I majored in Biology. However, I have always had a passion for the arts, particularly writing and films. Spending hours crafting stories allowed me to develop the ability to communicate effectively in written formats and create colorful essays that engross readers, even when the topic itself is not the most interesting. During undergrad I freelanced as an essay editor for senior high school students as they prepared their college applications, which was a very rewarding experience for me as I was able to assist students with constructing essays that told their unique personal stories during their quest to gain admission to their dream universities. Although the application process for undergrad is quite different from that of medical school, having gone through the medical school application process myself, I believe that it will allow me to offer advice on how to navigate through this competitive and complex process. Medical school applicants dread the thought of being rejected or waitlisted and having to re-apply. I was unfortunately one of those applicants after my first attempt applying to medical school. I remember feeling very defeated after failing to receive an acceptance, but in retrospect I see that my trials have given me a deeper insight as to some of the strategies medical school applicants can use to improve their applications. 

Khaila

MS4
Duke University School of Medicine

Hello everyone! My name is Khaila, rising fourth-year medical student at Duke University School of Medicine (DUSOM). I also went to undergrad at Duke, where I was a cheerleader and received a Bachelor’s with distinction degree in Psychology in 2019. I decided not to take a gap year and loved the community, curriculum, and mentorship so much that I chose to become a Double Dukie! 

As a first generation medical student, mentorship has been the foundation of my journey to MD. As such, I have always valued education and equitable access to information. I put on my first mentor hat in undergrad providing academic and college advising to local middle and high school students. In DUSOM, I now have many mentorship hats: executive board member of the Duke Medical Advisory Program, First-Generation Low-Income Med mentor, Duke Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students mentor, Duke Health Profession Recruitment and Exposure Program mentor, and Durham Learning Center literacy instructor. 

I truly enjoy building meaningful relationships with mentees, understanding their goals and motivations, and providing the necessary assistance and resources to help them succeed. I know the pre-med experience can be full of unknowns, and the guidance of a mentor can be an invaluable part of the process. I am so excited to be a part of the Motivate MD team and your support system on this journey!

Ankitha

MS4
Wake Forest School of Medicine

Hi! My name is Ankitha Iyer and I am a fourth-year medical student at Wake Forest School of Medicine. I received a B.S in Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in 2019. Before medical school, I took a gap year where I worked as an Advanced Critical Care Patient Care Technician in the Medical ICU at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In my time at the University of Pittsburgh I was a teaching assistant for four courses, and part of the Delta Epsilon Mu Pre-Health Fraternity, where I served as a mentor for several younger premed students. Additionally, I served with Jumpstart, an early education Americorps program for underserved preschool kids, started a non-profit organization that catered to the emotional health of Senior Citizens, and engaged in Cardiology, Public Health and Cognitive Neuroscience research. In my time in college, I have mentored a variety of students specifically on how to engage in active, entrepreneurial service and leadership while exploring their path towards medicine. Mentorship is a very important method for me to disseminate the knowledge I wish I had received from a mentor myself.

At Wake Forest School of Medicine, I am part of the executive board of the General Surgery Interest group and OASIS Anthology of Medical Humanities. I am mentoring an underserved undergraduate premed student at Wake Forest University through our Mentoring the Pipeline organization. I am also currently involved both Head and Neck Radiation Oncology and Neurosurgery research projects. I owe who I am today to the mentors who have provided me their unwavering support and guided me through times of uncertainty. I hope to provide you the same strategic mentorship to be a driven, proactive, and pioneering future student doctor!  

Akosua

MS4
The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

Hi! My name is Akosua and I am an incoming fourth-year medical student at The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. I received my Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in 2016 and graduated summa cum laude. Mentorship has been and continues to be an important part of my life. In college, I was part of an organization called Empowering, Encouraging, Eliminating Barriers in which I was a mentor to high school girls interested in STEM careers. As a first-year medical student, I was paired with a UChicago undergraduate student through the Minority Association of Premedical Students and have been mentoring her since then.

The summer after my first year, I was paired with a student who was completing a pipeline program here at Pritzker and I have been mentoring her since then. I have also acted as a mentor informally to several undergraduate students who applied during the 2020-2021 cycle, all of whom have been accepted to various medical schools.

I was a non-traditional applicant. I took two years off after undergrad to engage in research at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. My projects focused on exploring the effects of a global, systemic injury in rodent models to mimic premature birth in humans. I was able to publish a few original science and review papers during this time.

In 2021 I took a year off to complete a Master’s in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I am incredibly excited to be a part of the Motivate MD team. I know firsthand how important it is to have guidance during this process and look forward to helping you with your pre-med journey!

Melis

MS1
University of Michigan

Hey everyone! My name is Melis (Mel-eese), and I am super excited to help you with your journey to getting accepted into medical school!

I’m an M1 at University of Michigan and received my B.S. in Biological Sciences and Molecular Engineering from UChicago in 2020. I took 2 years in between undergrad and medical school with work experiences in pharmaceutical marketing, venture capital, and startups. Also, I’m interested in possibly pursuing an MD/MBA. However, I am a sculptor and dancer with a big love of the humanities (balance is key).

I’ve been fortunate to help people applying to college from various backgrounds such as International, FGLI, those with bumps in the road, and those who wanted a better understanding of how to articulate their special stories. Mentorship has always been important to me and I was a very active member of the Women in Science (WIS) program during college. To me, mentorship and advising means developing a warm partnership that allows us to have ultra-personalized sessions.

My favorite part about advising is the glorious moment where everything clicks and your unique voice emerges to present your experiences in the frame of compelling stories. Everyone brings something special to the admissions process; it’s all about finding the optimal conditions to get you accepted into the place that is best for you. 

If you are interested in publications: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8413-6041

Shilpa

MS1
Western University of Health Sciences

Hi there! My name is Shilpa Nath, and I am a first-year medical student at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA! I started tutoring as a child, and since then, I have mentored, advised, and taught all different age groups and demographics in a wide variety of subjects. I am so excited to bring all my skills to Motivate MD to help make your medical school dreams a reality!

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology, with a minor in Global Health, from UC San Diego. I was heavily involved as an undergraduate, in which I spent the majority of my time doing service work in my community with people with mental illnesses, the socioeconomically disadvantaged, autistic youth, sexual assault survivors, and the elderly. I also contributed to two gastroenterology research publications, served as a board member for several health-related undergraduate organizations, and worked as a tutor for my university.

My path to medical school is unique in that I am a first-generation college graduate and medical student, completed my undergraduate degree in three years, self-studied for the MCAT, and applied to medical school during a pandemic. I would love to help anyone that has any questions about these topics, or anyone that is looking for a mentor or advisor that can accurately and empathetically guide them through the medical school admission process. I will be your biggest supporter and cheerleader through your pre-medical journey!

Megan

MS2
Medical College of Georgia

Hi my name is Megan A. and I’m a first year medical student at the Medical College of Georgia! During college I have spent most of my time outside school working as an EMT for the past 3 years. I gained a lot of clinical experience through my time on the ambulance and it really confirmed my desire to pursue a career in the medical field! During undergrad I also led peer groups for freshman chemistry classes during which I provided support and encouragement to students in their first year of chemistry. I also tutored elementary students in a trailer park community and led a service organization for freshman students during college. These opportunities have allowed me to gain confidence and experience in mentoring other students and I hope to use the lessons that I learned in helping premed students achieve their goals! I had many doubts during my journey towards medical school and there were many times I wanted to quit. I am so glad that I didn’t and I hope I can provide the encouragement and support to help premeds believe in themselves and their dreams! I am truly looking forward to working with all of you!

Sam

MS3
University of Minnesota Medical School

Hi! My name is Sam, and I am currently a third year medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School, located in the Twin Cities. Prior to medical school, I studied biology and global health at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Outside of my studies, I participated in research, volunteered at a non-profit organization focused on women’s health, served as a hospice volunteer, and spent a summer interning at a rural family medicine clinic. I also stayed connected to my childhood passion of figure skating by coaching private skating lessons for both children and adults. Helping skaters overcome their fears and build confidence overtime, by maintaining a fun, encouraging learning environment, was the most rewarding part of being a coach. My experiences as a skating coach, as well as my gratitude for my own mentors, motivated me to volunteer as a mentor for pre-medical students through the American Medical Student Association during my first year of medical school. As a first year medical student, I also received mentorship from a second year medical student through my school’s peer mentorship program. My role as a mentee heightened my appreciation for the support and guidance that mentorship provides, and I now serve as a mentor for two first year medical students through this program. I absolutely love being a part of the Motivate MD team and look forward to working with you!

Claudia

MS2
Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine

Hi everyone! My name is Claudia and I am a soon to be second year medical student at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. I took three gap years and worked as a research coordinator while finishing my post-bacc classes part-time. I also have experience as a teaching assistant and tutor. 

I am very passionate about mentorship as I received (and continue to receive!) a lot of support and guidance along the way. In medical school, I am involved in the wellness committee, student admissions sub-committee, the Latino Medical Student Association, and a co-leader for a high-school outreach program. I am also involved in various research projects. I am excited to be a part of Motivate MD’s team and work with students applying to medical school! 

Erin

MS4
University of Miami

Hey everyone! My name is Erin and I am a current 4th year medical student at the University of Miami. I went to undergraduate at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale where I served on the Premedical Eboard and as a Peer Advisor for the Office of Career Development. It was through these two opportunities that I learned the value of mentorship. I have experience through my job in Career Development Office editing CVs, doing interview prep, and job searching. During medical school, I am a part of an organization through which we mentor undergraduate students applying to medical school. During the time between my 1st and 2nd years of medical school, I took an extended summer to complete research through the NIH at the University of Michigan. Here I was able to study the effects of VO2 on weight loss and continue to stay involved in the project today. I am looking forward to getting to know you all and be a part of your journey.

Jabre

MS3
University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine

My name is Jabre Millon, I am currently a third year at the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine. I was a track and field athlete all four years of undergrad before graduating from USC in 2015. I completed a post-bacc at Keck Graduate Institute in 2018. I am a three time re-applicant! Aside from the post-bacc, I worked non-health care jobs and volunteered plenty during my four gap years. I’ve been a part of the Motivate MD team for a little over a year now. I also mentor premed students through programs developed by my school, other on campus organizations and anyone who receives my contact information from a mutual connection. The students I meet come from diverse backgrounds, and I am always happy helping them leverage their strengths in their application and on their path to medical school. I had plenty of struggles in my premed career ranging from my GPA to extracurricular activities to personal conflicts. Im passionate about ensuring future premeds don’t have to endure the same struggles I did! I look forward to meeting and working with you all.

Khyati

MS3
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Hey! I’m Khyati and I’m currently a third year med student at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia. I’ve been working with Motivate MD for the past 2.5 years and am excited to be on the MyMentor team this year. I truly value the unique relationship of a mentor and mentee and began working as a mentor in undergrad where I facilitated small groups of students in science courses. I served as a mentor for underclassmen interested in medicine as a senior in undergrad and loved the experience! I look forward to developing those unique relationships once again. I worked in a neurobiology lab during undergrad where I was involved in projects, presented at the national ENDO conference, and published my long term project. Currently, I’m an active research student at Fox Chase Cancer Center working on a study focused on metastatic breast cancer patients. I’m also a dual degree student, concurrently enrolled as a masters in Urban Bioethics student. Happy to be a resource for all of you!

Chris

MS2
Penn State College of Medicine

Hi! My name is Chris, and I am a second-year medical student at the Penn State College of Medicine. I went to undergrad at the University of Pittsburgh, where I studied Microbiology and Business. Outside of school, I enjoyed volunteering at a free clinic in Pittsburgh, helping connect underserved patients with housing, food, and educational resources in the community. As a medical student, I am excited to continue working with underserved teens and adults both inside and out of the clinic.

While in undergrad, I was a peer tutor and mentor for three years, mentoring students in their pre-medical studies and how to succeed in their biology and chemistry classes. I also worked as a teaching assistant in both science and business classes, where I mentored students from a variety of unique backgrounds. As a medical student, I continue to mentor local college students through a student group and tutor high school and college students online in biology, chemistry, and genetics. I love mentoring students and helping them navigate the stressful and often uncertain path to medical school. When I was applying, I did not have any mentors to help me, so now I enjoy offering my advice to students, hopeful to offer the knowledge I gained from my own successes and failures. I am excited to be a part of the Motivate MD team and help you all succeed!

Charmi

MS2
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Hi, my name is Charmi Rana and I am a second year medical student at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. I graduated from Rutgers University – Newark with a bachelor’s in Biology, minor in Psychology and an Honors Distinction. Throughout undergrad, I did research in a biology lab, held multiple leadership positions, shadowed physicians, and volunteered extensively in the community, in both clinical and non-clinical settings. I mentored freshmen and sophomores who were pursuing the pre-med track through Honors College and a pre-health organization. I edited and reviewed their scholarship essays and applications, helped them create class schedules, and assisted in finding volunteering opportunities. I also held an on-campus job where I assisted students in registering for classes and created academic workshops for freshmen on topics such as time management, how to get involved on campus, etc.

I have definitely experienced my fair share of struggles while applying for medical school. Upon failing to receive an admission during the first cycle, I decided to take a gap year where I further improved my MCAT score and clinical experiences by working as a scribe and a medical office assistant and volunteering in hospice care. After evaluating how I can improve my portfolio, I applied as a re-applicant during the next cycle and fortunately, received multiple interviews and acceptances. My experiences have taught me that with determination, perseverance, and continuous self-reflection, one can truly achieve the goals they aspire towards. I received a lot of support from my advisors and mentors who served as an incredible resource throughout my journey in undergrad and beyond. I hope I can utilize my experiences to help you in your journey to medical school as well!

Olivia

MS3
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

My name is Olivia and I am a third year MD student at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, Iowa. As the first in my family to enter the field of healthcare, I understand just how overwhelming it can be to navigate the journey to becoming a physician. My background in advising includes serving as a mentor for Medicus, an organization that helps build bridges and increase transparency between our medical school and premedical students. We aspire to provide opportunities for application building, networking, experiences in clinical or research settings, and encouragement to help students navigate the long (and often intimidating) path to becoming a doctor. My academic interests include surgery, pediatrics, and oncology/immunology, which I fell in love with while doing cancer immunotherapy research. My path to medicine has also been shaped by my Catholic faith identity. I strive to show others that you can balance religion and spirituality with science. In addition to starting school, I was married during my M1 year and enjoy spending free time with my husband and family. I believe that if you want it badly enough and for the right reasons, you WILL become a doctor, and I would love to help you get there!

Jamie

MS3
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

My name is Jamie, and I am a third year medical student at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine (CCOM). I completed my undergraduate education at Loyola University Chicago with a degree in Exercise Science. I took 1 gap year before starting medical school. During my gap year, I continued working at a hospital in Northern Chicago as an Emergency Room technician, while completing research in T-cell mediated cancer therapy. Currently, I am working on my manuscript for publication of a systematic literature review on various prediction models for severe illnesses caused by COVID-19. I have always valued the impact that my mentors have had on my own journey to medical school, so I want to help other students in the same way. During my undergraduate years, I worked with the writing center on our campus to help students brainstorm ideas, cohesively write a paper, and edit grammar and punctuation to polish off their papers. I also helped out in the pre-med office where I gained extensive insight into the application process and what goes into making a competitive applicant for medical school. Since starting medical school, I have become a pre-med mentor for undergraduate students at the University of Iowa who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine, and I help direct them in their path and the application process. I am also a CCOM peer mentor, where I am paired with a first year medical student to assist them with their transition to medical school through building connections and fostering a sense of community. Finally, I currently do one-on-one tutoring for first year medical students at CCOM to help aid their success in their classes as they transition to life in medical school!

Haley

MS2
Rush Medical College

Hi all! My name is Haley and I’m a 2nd year medical student at Rush Medical College in Chicago, IL. My path to medical school has been challenging to say the least and I feel incredibly honored to be able to use my experience to advise others on their own journey to medicine. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin with my bachelor’s in Sociology and certificates in Gender & Women’s Studies and Global Health. In college, I most enjoyed being involved in my community which led me to experiences such as working with students at an adult English Second Language school, volunteering as a medical assistant in a free clinic and serving as a support advocate on a crisis helpline. After graduating, my passions for service and mentorship led me to dedicate a year of service with AmeriCorps in Louisiana where I was a 3rd grade math instructor and near-peer mentor. I know from my own experience just how crucial it is to have reliable mentorship and advising while navigating the complex process of medical school applications, and I look forward to having that opportunity to support you on your journey to medicine!

Emma K

MS1
University of Arizona, College of Medicine Phoenix

Hey everyone! My name is Emma Kar and I am a first-year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix who is interested in pursuing a future in surgery. My journey to medicine is a bit unconventional. Born and raised in Arizona, I completed my undergraduate years in the state of Washington at Gonzaga University, receiving a B.S. in Mathematics. Much of my research experience was in the mathematics realm, involving medical imaging and simulation technology, resulting in my first publication.

Mentoring was very important to me during my undergraduate years, as I cherished the opportunity to work with peers as a math tutor, a resident assistant, and an admissions ambassador. One of the most fruitful experiences for me was assisting our honor’s college with reviewing applications and running interviews each year. Through this experience, I was able to expand my knowledge as a mentor and advisor by gaining the perspective of members on an admissions committee. I learned how these individuals analyze applicants using only academic stats, a few essay responses, and an hour-long interview conversation.

I also take pride in being a reapplicant to medical school. While I initially had only intended to take one gap year working as a fifth-grade teacher, I ended up taking two years off. This gave me the time to strengthen other areas of my application while expanding my clinical experiences working as a clinical research coordinator on the Covid-19 vaccine trials. In medical school, I continue to find ways to incorporate my math background into my research and stay active in the community by mentoring local high school students. Needless to say, I am grateful for my untraditional journey to medicine and I love being able to help other students discover the best ways to showcase their unique journey as well.

As your mentor, I promise to use my insight, experience, and connections to help you to the best of my abilities! I hope that by working together we can craft an application that demonstrates an honest, holistic perspective of why you will make a great physician!

Adina

MS1
University of Arizona, College of Medicine Phoenix

Hi everyone! My name is Adina and I am a first-year medical student at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine Phoenix! Having just gone through the medical school cycle during COVID-19, I am very well versed in all things application-related. I graduated with honors as the only recipient of the Franklin Henry Award from UC Berkeley in May 2020 with a degree in Integrative Biology. During my one gap year, I worked as head medical and surgical assistant at a dermatology office in the Bay Area, leading the mentorship program for all undergraduate interns including mentoring and advising for pre-med and pre-PA students.

Coming from a family with no members in medicine, I understand the struggles of navigating the complex pre-medical pathways successfully. At UC Berkeley, I loved serving in multiple leadership and mentor positions including President of the Integrative Biology Students, Director for the Campus-Wide Pre Health Student Council, Vice President of the American Medical Women’s Association, and really valued helping students with class scheduling, gaining research, and clinical experiences. As a previous campus representative for an MCAT test prep company, I have over 3 years of experience and extensive training with MCAT scheduling and study plans. Outside of pre-med classes at UC Berkeley, I was very passionate about my clinical research at UCSF (including one acknowledgment in Nature) and my sorority involvement! In my free time, I enjoy fitness, healthy cooking, and playing mahjong!

I am here to advise you, support you, and be your #1 cheerleader. I will bring my unparalleled positive energy, extensive experience with extracurriculars/clinical hours, meticulous goal-setting, and friendship to our sessions! I want to help you tell your story and make sure you are as prepared as possible for a successful application cycle, including helping cultivate resilience with any challenges that are presented. I look forward to working with you!

Sarah B

Sarah

MS1
Creighton University School of Medicine

Hi! My name is Sarah, and I am currently a first-year medical student at Creighton University School of Medicine in Phoenix. I am originally from rural Pennsylvania. I attended Canisius College in Buffalo, NY where I majored in biology and psychology and minored in neuroscience and neuropsychology, graduating summa cum laude from the All-College Honors Program. While at Canisius, I volunteered as a NICU cuddler, worked as an emergency room scribe and a medical assistant in an urgent care, participated in a Remote Area Medical clinic and Costa Rica medical service trip, and worked on social psychology research. I also was a cheerleader.

While at Canisius, I enjoyed serving in multiple leadership and mentoring roles. I became a tutor for the subjects of biology and psychology as well as a biology teaching assistant for the general biology courses. Additionally, my last two years, I was president of the pre-health club on campus. As president, I established and organized a mentoring program with junior and senior pre-health students serving as mentors to freshmen and sophomores with similar interests as well as facilitated a mentoring speaker series that allowed medical, dental, veterinary, and physician assistant students to provide mentorship to all four classes. In addition to establishing the program, I served as a mentor, helping pre-medical students plan their course schedules, find clinical and volunteer experiences, and begin building a strong medical application. Since beginning my journey at Creighton, I have served as a mentor in the Arizona State University Pre-Health Mentoring Program in a similar capacity and have loved my time editing and doing interview prep for pre-health students through Motivate MDAs a first-generation college graduate from a rural area with no family members in medicine, I understand how hard it can be to navigate the pre-medical path. Inspired by the amazing mentorship that I received, I would love the opportunity to support you on your journey into medicine!

As a first-generation college graduate from a rural area with no family members in medicine, I understand how hard it can be to navigate the pre-medical path. Inspired by the amazing mentorship that I received, I would love the opportunity to support you on your journey into medicine!

Adriana

MS2
University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville

Adriana is a second-year medical student at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. She attended Boston University for her undergraduate education, where she double majored in History of Art & Architecture and Philosophy. She has worked in the museum and media fields before deciding to pursue a career in medicine. After a few years of working in New York City, Adriana returned to Atlanta for her post-baccalaureate pre-medical education at Georgia State University, where she earned two Associate degrees in Biology and Spanish. As a first-generation, non-traditional student, Adriana enjoys helping pay it forward with others in their premedical journeys. With several gap years under her belt, Adriana understands the importance of timing when planning one’s medical education.

Adriana’s medical interests include biomedical ethics (particularly end of life/ palliative care), public health (especially health disparities and societal changes in health), and lifestyle medicine. Two goals of hers that she’d like to accomplish during her time in medical school are becoming functionally fluent in Spanish and doing an away clerkship rotation on an indigenous reservation. Adriana currently serves as the President of her school’s Radiology Interest Group, Vice President of the Urology Interest Group, and actively mentors premedical students. Her research interests include health informatics and improvements in the quality of care in oncology. She spent her M1 summer completing an NIH-funded biostatistics program with Boston University and a biomedical informatics research project with a team at the University of Pittsburgh.

In her free time, she enjoys reading, dancing samba, and trying to change her black thumb into a green one.

Sereena

MS2
TCU & UNTHSC School of Medicine in Fort Worth Texas

Hi! My name is Sereena J. and I’m currently a second-year medical student at the TCU & UNTHSC* School of Medicine in Fort Worth Texas. I earned my B.S. in Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology from Emory University in 2019. To stay motivated on my path to medicine, I TA’d for Biology and Human Physiology and I joined my school’s on-campus Emergency Medical Services program, which allowed me to become certified as an Advanced-EMT and volunteer within the Atlanta area for three years. I studied abroad twice in college (France and Denmark) and took a gap year afterwards to give myself a mental break, build some savings and life experiences, and spend time with my family before I sold myself to medicine for good!

Since high school, I’ve been active as a mentor in multiple settings. Related to medicine, however, I began mentoring pre-meds during my junior year of college and formally took on mentorship roles around the summer of 2020. I’ve provided guidance related to scheduling and balancing different science courses, obtaining research and shadowing opportunities, study strategies for the MCAT, and have even helped students solidify their AMCAS school list and applications. I currently serve as an ambassador for my school’s admissions committee, so I also have a bit of experience calming nerves before a medical school interview. I didn’t have too many mentors I could look to when I went through the process–I know how cold the water is and would love to help students wade their way through.

I spent a year in undergrad researching Huntington’s Disease and a semester researching neurologic disorders and presenting a case on Multiple Sclerosis. In medical school, I’m actively pursuing a project centered around infertility and I maintain a research-advocacy hybrid relationship with a virtual lab in Boston focused on improving maternal and child well-being.

If you take anything away from an interaction with me, I hope it will be that if you’d like to pursue a career in medicine, nothing will stand in your way, no matter any flaws you may be hyperaware of in your application. I look forward to aiding you on your journey through medicine!

*Texas Christian University and University of Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine

Alexis

MS2
Loyola Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Hi everyone! My name is Alexis, and I am an M2 at Loyola Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. My long and winding journey to medicine began at thirteen when my mom suffered sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital and ended up living to be the first to survive without brain damage at that hospital due to the application of the novel hypothermia protocol. After her recovery, I recognized the significant lack of CPR education within my community and began working to implement sustainable community CPR training programs alongside the American Heart Association. 

At just thirteen, I had no idea this formative experience would help guide my future career aspirations. This influenced me to pursue further education in psychology and chemistry at the University of Oregon where I truly developed a love that thrived where the physical sciences and behavioral sciences intersected. After my first year of college, I still had no idea what I wanted to do but had a strong underlying passion for service, so I took a leap and worked and lived on the Navajo Nation in construction and community building. This was so far out of my comfort zone but illuminated so many health disparities between populations living just miles away from each other. It spurred in me a desire to form a foundation in medicine grounded in culturally competent patient care and led me to pursue a Master’s degree in Clinical Global Medicine at USC Keck School of Medicine. This program offered so many unique opportunities to learn how to be a better patient advocate through hands on, didactic, and research experiences. Through my research at USC Keck School of Medicine and LAC+ USC Department of Pediatrics, I began to better understand the morbidity and mortality associated with certain indicators of health in neonates. From this, I published and presented upwards of ten abstracts and two manuscripts at national and international Pediatric conferences and was given the opportunity to guide others in their research endeavors. I continued to ponder the global and cultural relevance of this research, and eventually travelled to Panama to work in infant health delivery and education alongside a rural indigenous community. During my two gap years I took time to travel (and rest!) while working in a local community hospital and an adolescent psychiatric facility, both of which were hit hard by COVID. This experience and many others truly guided my desire to go into resource limited medicine and work within a diverse community to provide culturally appropriate care. 

As a medical student I love getting the opportunity to develop and grow alongside other students and work alongside the admissions department at my school–offering insight regarding the community that Stritch has built for its students. In the past I have worked as both a tutor and a teacher, and currently am a Barre instructor, so I find such satisfaction in teasing out the intricacies and strengths of each individual to put each piece of the puzzle together in a way that allows the overall image to shine brighter.

Ajibola

MS2
Tulane University School of Medicine

Hello, Hello!!! My name is Ajibola (Aji), and I am a rising second-year medical student at Tulane University School of Medicine (TUSOM). I completed my undergraduate degree at Transylvania University (Transy), a small liberal arts college in Kentucky. At Transy, I majored in Biology and had a minor in Chemistry. While I have served as a mentor to my younger brothers all my life, it was in college that I got to hone my mentorship skills. I served as a mentor to incoming first-year students from various backgrounds, providing them with the necessary resource and support to help with their transition into college. In addition, I also served as a peer tutor and assisted fellow students with their chemistry assignments. 

After graduating from college, I joined a research lab at the University of Arkansas to pursue a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular biology. My research work on the involvement of the mitochondrial genome in the development of the early-onset neurodegenerative disease, Leigh syndrome, resulted in several first-author publications. During this period, I mentored several undergraduate students, some of whom were honors students. Under my mentorship, these students were able to successfully design and execute research projects that culminated in an honors thesis. 

Since starting medical school, I have been heavily involved in assisting two pre-meds with their medical school application. Both students have had a successful application season and will be enrolling in medical school in the fall. As a non-traditional applicant, I understand how stressful the process is, and I have been lucky to have had great support along the treacherous path to medical school. It is for this reason that I am excited to provide the same level of support and guidance to other future physicians through Motivate MD. I look forward to working with you and helping you on this journey!

Nicholas

MS3
Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston

My name is Nicholas Verdini and I am currently a third year medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA! I grew up in Lynn, MA and went to high school and college in the area. During my undergraduate time, I had multiple involvements in mentoring. I served as a mentor for incoming first-year undergraduate students to help with their adjustment to college. Additionally, I served as a fellow for the Science Living-Learning Community at my college, which involved mentorship for first-year science majors at the college. After college, I worked at the National Cancer Institute for two years through a scholarship program for low-income students. There, I conducted research on CAR T-Cell therapy for pediatric leukemia, as well as performed research on bladder cancer imaging modalities. This past summer, I researched the role of sociodemographic and social determinants of health have on rates of COVID-19 diagnosis. Since starting medical school, I have mentored students from my undergraduate college in applying to medical school. Additionally, I mentor first-year medical students in the Community Service Learning program at the school. I do not have medical professionals in my family, and went to a small college that did not have a robust pre-medical advising program. I hope to be able to provide advising and mentorship to those seeking to attend medical school, regardless of their family’s professional status, where they attend college, or their financial status. I look forward to working with you!

Aarushi

MS1
Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah

I am currently attending the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah. 

During undergrad I had the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant for the Ethics and Leadership course. As a TA I mediated discussion sessions, supported and advised students in writing their ethics papers, and put together service projects based upon ethical values. The most important aspect of my job was to encourage students to engage in meaningful ethical discussions by creating an environment where all students felt respected, comfortable, and heard. I created a strategic plan with students with a focus on teaching students how to listen consciously. As a dedicated social justice champion, I founded a student-led safety organization on campus after the devasting murder of a fellow University of Utah student. Through SAFE, I aimed to foster a protected and inclusive environment where students, faculty, and administration could openly discuss safety issues with a focus on diversity, mental health, and campus infrastructure to make the university a safer place for all. This was accomplished by teaching students about the safety resources available on campus and advising students about different safety issues through discussions, advocacy, and awareness work. To advance racial equity within the Honors College, I collaborated with the People’s Energy Movement, Utahn Convos, and Honors College Dean to create the Honors College Fellowship for Advancing Racial Equity. Through this program I mentored students and faculty within the Honors College to understand the importance of diverse curriculums so that all students of every race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation felt represented among Honors faculty and coursework. 

Discrimination, violence, and anti-Asian bigotry surfaced during the COVID-19 pandemic. To address these issues, I partnered with University of Utah administrative members and students to create a campaign to raise awareness on how these acts are unacceptable towards the Asian community. The #UtahWashTheHate campaign video focused on ways to prevent anti-Asian efforts, raised awareness about xenophobia, and promoted the importance of handwashing. The video was released across all campus social media platforms. I realized the scope and importance of social media in sharing information, and I aspire to be involved in similar advocacy work to create positive change in the future. 

As a student researcher, I had the opportunity to co-author a publication. The publication reviews some of the most promising animal-derived anticancer therapeutics currently in use or under investigation. My team and I explored potential therapeutic agents derived from amphibians, arachnids, and insects, such as bee venom and chlorotoxin from the Israeli deathstalker scorpion. I learned about the process of writing, editing, and submitting a research publication, and I hope to continue my work in comparative oncology, seeking to advance our understanding of the mechanism and clinical development of these potential anticancer agents. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/eva.12963

Anuj Patel, DO

Anesthesiology Resident
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Hey Everyone! My name is Anuj, and I am an Anesthesiology resident at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. I formerly attended the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. Prior to beginning medical school, I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Connecticut in Physiology and Neurobiology, and followed that with a Master in Physiology at Georgetown University. 

Throughout my collegiate education I have followed one rule – pursue your passion and find yourself in every activity; I truly believe these are the activities that hold the most meaning. Growing up right outside of Boston, Massachusetts, arguably the city of champions, I have always gravitated towards sports – I enjoy not only watching, but also playing sports including football and baseball. I devote a lot of my free time biking, hiking, and spending time in the general outdoors. Having this being my hobby, I naturally combined it with my undergraduate and graduate degrees, but also my passion in medicine, and further participating in many extracurricular, research, and leadership activities. I devoted much time into Special Olympics of Connecticut and Maine enjoying spreading the joy of sports, but also working with this unique population advocating for awareness in medical discrepancies through clinical research. As for research, I lived out my dream and participated in several research projects at the National Football League (NFL) – even getting to go the NFL Headquarters in NYC for the Award Gala! Further, I continued to explore my interests and have published several research articles and projects pertaining to medical innovation, public health issues, and recently, the Novel COVID-19 Virus. I have conducted research at Boston Children’s Hospital, but also through recognized fellowships grants as a medical student, and with national, and international research teams.

I found mentoring as a great passion of mine – as a first-generation medical professional, I found early on that mentorship is key. This includes a person to serve as a mentor, but also help with editing and general advice! I have been fortunate to have great mentors, and I look forward to passing that on to the students I have the pleasure working with. I throughout medical school served as a tutor and teaching assistant in several courses. I am thrilled to be part of the amazing team at Motivate MD, and am excited to be a resource for you as we work towards journey and goal.

Emma F

MS4
Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM)

My name is Emma and I am currently a fourth year medical student at Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) in New Mexico. While I was born in AZ, I grew up in Albuquerque, NM and graduated summa cum laude from The University of New Mexico (UNM) with a BS in Medical Laboratory Sciences. After graduating college, I relocated to Baltimore, MD where I worked as Clinical Laboratory Scientist for two years prior to beginning medical school. I enjoy writing and am humbled to have had two articles published in 2020 as well as currently contribute to the Motivate MD blog. At BCOM, I have created the Burrell-Aggie Mentorship Program which is a program created specifically for NMSU Pipeline and pre-medical students. I hold mentorship to the highest regard as none of my own family members were doctors or even in the medical field, so I learned as I advanced along my journey. I had always wished I had a mentor guide me through the pre-med years, medical school application process, and early years in medical school, so my goal is to be that mentor for students. I know what it feels like to be uncertain whether you are making the right moves and decisions in the pre-med realm. If this feels like you right now – I am more than happy to assist in any facet of your medical school journey!

Michael N., D.O.

Emergency Medicine
Charleston, SC

Hello, Future Physicians! My name is Michael Nelems. My unique path to medicine began with my undergraduate training at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. I was a cadet-student-athlete for those four years, serving as a tutor for the Academic Support Center, the Delta Company Academic Officer, and Team Captain of our Division One Wrestling Program. I graduated in 2016 and took a gap year, which is where my medical education really began. Over that time, I worked as the Chief Scribe and Lead Trainer in the Emergency Department, Medical Assistant at an Urgent Care facility, and Patient Care Technician in the Medical/Surgical Unit. In 2018, I started medical school at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine – Carolinas Campus (VCOM), where I was fortunate enough to be recognized by my class as Student of the Block. I was involved as an Education and Technology Intern, the Interprofessional Education Program, served on a medical mission in the Dominican Republic, and was voted President of Sigma Sigma Phi, my medical school’s honors society chapter. I completed my clerkship at Roper St. Francis in Charleston, SC, where I revised and implemented guidelines for procedural sedation and analgesia in the Emergency Department at both Roper St. Francis and Trident Medical Center. I have completed my medical school training at VCOM on May 13, 2022. My next stop will be as an Emergency Medicine Resident Physician at Prisma Health/The University of South Carolina School of Medicine. I have chosen to work with MotivateMD because I know how challenging this application process can be, and I genuinely enjoy using my experience to help students like yourself accomplish your respective objectives. If you allow me the opportunity, I will give your professional goals the same attention that I gave my own. I’m confident that, together, we can get you where you want to go. 

Raj

MS2
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)

Hello there! My name is Raj Patel and I’m a second-year medical student at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM). I was born in London, U.K., grew up in South Florida, and completed much of my educational journey at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Here, I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science and later with a Master of Business Administration specializing in Healthcare Management. Throughout my college career and beyond, I’ve enjoyed giving back to my peers through mentorship and advising. Much of this has been influenced by my dynamic interests in leadership, research, and service which gave me a unique position on balancing a challenging pre-med curriculum with substantial extracurricular activities. I’ve mentored several pre-medical students and have helped successfully develop student leaders and strong candidates. I’ve always been a passionate student researcher in the fields of neuroscience, infectious disease, and surgery. To date, I’ve published several peer-reviewed journal articles and a few book chapters. I was also fortunate to be awarded several research accolades for my work and have had the opportunity to present my findings at the local, regional, and national levels. At USF, I served in numerous leadership roles ranging from Senator for the College of Arts and Sciences, President of the largest multicultural student organization on campus, President of the university’s alumni honor society, among others. I also gained valuable work experience on campus as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Resident Assistant, and Campus Ambassador for The Princeton Review. These roles also opened opportunities to interact with younger students starting freshly on their college journey and offer them advice as they navigated their early days. As a first-generation college student, I know some of the common challenges faced especially with limited access to mentors for guidance along this arduous journey. I’d love for the chance to help you navigate your pre-med journey and simplify your track by offering some of my advice through the unique path that I took when I was once in your shoes!

Nada

MS3
Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM)

Hi! My name is Nada and I am a third year medical student at Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM). I also attended NSU for undergrad, as part of their 7-year BS/DO program. Following medical school, I hope to match into general surgery and ultimately specialize in transplant, an interest that stems from two summer internship experiences at the Medical University of Graz, Austria Transplantation Department. I currently serve as a mentor to two second-year medical students at NSU-KPCOM, and have been simultaneously working with Motivate MD to help pre-med students achieve their goals. As the first individual in my family to get into medical school, I know exactly how it feels to try and navigate the system alone, and I want to do my part in ensuring that others don’t have to endure the same. I look forward to meeting you and helping your dream become a reality!