Mentor match-up

Matt Reyher, a sophomore pre-nursing student from Philadelphia, Pa., and Sammy Hajar, a sophomore pre-nursing student from Midland, speak with each other before sitting down with their mentors during the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center event hosted Tuesday in the Academic Classroom Building.

The Pre-Professional Health Career advising program partnered with the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center for the third semester of the pre-mentoring program. The first meeting took place at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Academic Classroom Building on the HSC campus.

The program first began in Spring 2012 semester and is a joint venture that pairs pre-med undergraduate students with medical students. The meetings will occur about once per month.

“We want you to know what you’re committing to,” Dr. Greg Gellene, director of the Pre-Professional Health Center advising program, said to the mentees in attendance.

Gellene said it was hard for advisers to deliver all of the information to prospective medical students.

“It’s kind of unique,” he said. “It really doesn’t exist at other places in Texas.”

He said the program allows prospective students to sit in classes and attend medical school lectures, participate in hands-on training and gain other experience not found on an undergraduate campus.

“It helps the undergrad campus see what a health professional in that program goes through,” Margret Duran, the assistant vice president of Student Services at HSC, said.

Duran said the program allows undergrads to see the kind of workload and study hours involved with medical school.

She said the mentoring program also helps potential students determine if the medical school program they want to go into is the best fit for them.

Jordan Harmon, a junior biology student and medicine mentee from Borger, said she heard about the program from her adviser.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity,” she said.

Harmon said she’s been interested in medicine since her parents were involved in a car accident. She said she’s worried about the course load of medical school, in addition to not getting accepted.

Harmon’s mentor, Ryan Donahue, said this was his second time participating in the mentorship program.

Donahue said his previous experience was bittersweet because of the camaraderie shared between the mentors and mentees.

“My school didn’t have any mentoring situation or anything like that, and there were a lot of questions I never really got answered, “ he said.

Donahue said medical school is hard, but manageable and encourages students to enjoy their time with the mentorship program.

“Make sure this is what you want to do,” Donahue said.

Areo Adola, a medicine mentee and second-year student from Lubbock, said she always wanted to get into the medical field. Adola is studying biology, and plans on becoming a doctor.

Adola said she was looking forward to getting her questions answered.

“I think it is a good program and I hope to get a lot of information from it,” she said.

Alison Mathew, a medicine mentor, said this was her first year participating with the official program, but worked as a kind of unofficial mentor last year.

Mathew said she encourages potential medical students to work hard early, and not to get stressed about the coursework.

“Whenever I applied for med school, the idea seemed like a distant dream,” she said.

Mathew said one day in medical school felt like two weeks of undergrad courses.

“Just knowing what’s waiting for you calms fears,” she said.

According to information provided at the event, the mentoring programs include medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy and pharmacy. There are about 50 students participating in the mentorship program.

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