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Undergraduate Pre-Health Program-Alumni Testimonials

I never could have predicted that after I submitted my application to the ​​Undergraduate Pre-Health Program, I would embark on one of the greatest experiences of my life. The Undergraduate Pre-Health Program inspired me even more to becoming a health professional and provided me with the tools and network I need to begin this journey. This program not only pushes its students out of their comfort zone and attempts to turn their weaknesses into strengths, but it also seeks to foster a long lasting mentorship and provides students with numerous extraordinary opportunities. Being part of this program has forever made a positive impact on my life and I am grateful to be a part of this great community.
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Malia Jackson

UPP Alumnae - 2017
I did UPP for 2 years in a row and it was the best experience of my undergraduate career. I was able to explore new healthcare opportunities that I did not know even existed, which broadened my horizons and gave me endless possibilities to what I could become. UPP was a great experience and it helped me network with amazing people that presented me with great opportunities to further along my studies and experiences in the healthcare field. If you are interested in a program that can help you achieve anything you would like in healthcare, then UPP is the right program for you.
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Omar Samara

UPP Alumnae - 2016
The Undergraduate Pre-Health Program provided me with a mentally stimulating environment, through Saturday Academies, where our cohort discussed issues affecting the healthcare system and underrepresented populations from diverse perspectives. Following the first portion of the program, my summer experience involved being placed in the Hospital Medicine Department at UCHealth with Dr. Amira del Pino-Jones as my preceptor. This immersive experience exposed me to multiple facets of the medical field including physician responsibilities through rounding, quality improvement (QI) by engaging in two QI projects surrounding patient-physician communication and the healthcare system through didactics with physicians. My preceptor also organized meetings with leaders at the Anschutz Medical Campus, which was one of my favorite aspects of this summer, as it allowed me to hear about the various possibilities beyond clinical practice (i.e. research, teaching and directing academic programs). Overall, this summer exposed me to the intersectionality and sea of opportunities within the healthcare system and made me realize that I do not just want to work within the healthcare system but also someday serve as a leader in medicine.
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Adnan Syed

UPP Alumnae - 2017
I am forever grateful for the Undergraduate Pre-Health Program. I had experiences that I will never forget and developed strong friendships with wonderful people along the way. Before beginning the program, I was struggling with school and had a tough time staying focused. Throughout the course of the program, I became more determined and knew that I had my main goal of going into professional school. I always looked forward to the Saturday academies where our cohort constantly discussed important topics. One of the most important topics, to me, was learning about health disparities, which allowed me to expand on my knowledge and helped me realize my true passion. I now know how to use future dental degree to better the lives of the people who suffer from these health disparities. Also, throughout the course of the summer I had the opportunity to shadow the dental students where I could experience what being a student at CU is like. I was excited to go in everyday and learn something new and wished that experience never ended. I learned many valuable skills that I will never forget; and because of those skills I was able to obtain a job after the summer was over and expand my horizon. My experience with the UPP program has truly been one of a kind and has changed me, for the better of course. Thank you to everyone who is involved with the program who allow students to constantly grow and expand on their knowledge of important topics that will turn them into wonderful future healthcare providers.
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Asma Samara

UPP Alumnae - 2017
UPP is unlike any pre-health program I have ever been a part of. Unlike these other programs, UPP has service at its core. The vision of the program is to make sure those who need quality care most in society get it. Sadly, in our society, this is completely radical! UPP does this by selecting people underrepresented in healthcare and sticking them in the program to learn about health disparities and inequities. More or less, they are giving resources and guidance to help young leaders serve their own communities because there is nobody better to take care of underrepresented and underserved populations than the young people who speak the language, are fluent in the culture, and understand the complexity of their own communities. The product of this program is an incredibly tight-knit, diverse, talented and inclusive community that challenge each other to critically reflect on issues of social justice and systems of power. If it were not for UPP, I would have given up on my aspirations to become a physician. UPP reignited my passion and taught me that love for difference is my greatest strength. These mentors and fellows showed me that I belong and that my voice is worthy of being heard. I cannot thank them enough!
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Tyler Fair

UPP Alumnae - 2017
Participating in UPP was an incredible experience! I enjoyed the exposure to the medical field with the Kaiser Permanente track, but more importantly, I am grateful for UPP more clearly defining how I want to practice medicine and why. The program is designed specifically to develop and instill a desire to get to know people, to empathize with where they are coming from, and to consider their culture when working with them. Simply being a provider is not enough, and UPP challenges you to reach a higher standard of service through self-reflection, cultural competency, and awareness of healthcare disparities. Saturday Academies are the forum for these in-depth discussions, and the hands-on clinical portion provides the opportunity for observation and application of the topics and skills. They help cultivate your ability to advocate for others and yourself, and to work as a multi-faceted team. Working with a group of unique individuals who are passionate about serving others was so encouraging! I loved the community of our cohort—not only do I have lifelong friends, but I have the unwavering support of the UPP staff in anything and everything. They go above and beyond to provide guidance, mentorship, and resources to you in any area of life.
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Akaysha Joiner

UPP Alumnae - 2014