1) Where do you come from?
I’m originally from the East Bay. Before coming down to Southern California for my undergraduate education at UCR, I spent most of my time in the cities around San Francisco and Oakland. I started school at UCR in 2010 and graduated with my B.S. in 2014. I worked for a year and now I am a MS1 at UCR’s School of Medicine.
2) Briefly describe your time at PhiDE, including why your reasons for joining the fraternity.
I was lucky to find PhiDE while it was still in the planning process. At the time, I was involved in a bunch of extra curricular activities, but most were either general interest or professionalism groups. PhiDE was offering a chance to meet with like minds and provide opportunities to further my interest in medicine. I am proud to have been a part of the founding class and believe my involvement in the fraternity was a major catalyst to further my medical education.
4) How has PhiDE changed you?
Before PhiDE I usually saw others as a distraction or hindrance while I was trying to become a “competitive medical school applicant.” After joining the fraternity, I realized that life gets A LOT easier when you have more support from your peers: academic, professional, or personal. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you’re not going to be the first, and you definitely won’t be the last.
5) What are some highlights from your time as a member? Is there a particular moment that has changed you significantly?
Surprisingly hanging out at the letters all day. It might feel like a chore sometimes, but I had some of my favorite memories at the letters, being stupid and joking around. It was nice forgetting about all of your responsibilities for a bit and just feeling like a part of the campus again.
6) Is there a particular vision you have for the fraternity? If so, what, and how should PhiDE work to achieve it?
The founding class came together to form PhiDE to build a solid support system for each other. When we first began the process, nobody knew each other’s names or what year in school we were in, but we all knew that we were willing to start something new that wasn’t already in existence at UCR. We looked past the countless pre-health and professionalism groups, even if we were a part of them, because we wanted something better; not for a resume, but for our own benefit. If there is one thing I hope will transcend the classes its that realize that the fraternity was built so that we could all collaborate and so that we can all help each other through the stressful pre-med life. Even though there are opportunities for you to find resume builders while working with PhiDE, know that just being a part of the fraternity gives you a unique chance to interact with others who are going through the same struggles that you are and support each other. At the end of the day, anyone can list things on a resume, but it’s the qualities that you build by being together and working together that will give you an advantage in the future.
7) What is one message you wish to pass on to current members?
Going off of what I was saying. Just because you’re not scheduled to work a certain shift at the tables or appear at a specific event, keep communication lines open. Realize that PhiDE is a coalition of pre-meds, not a checkbox on your to-do list. Use your time wisely, and learn from each other. Also, as far as working towards becoming a doctor, take your time: there is no rush, seriously. Do what works best for you whether that might be slower or faster than others, by taking time off to work, having extra-curricular activities that nobody else does regardless if it has to do with medicine, it doesn’t matter. Find your pace, and keep going forwards. Any progress is good progress.