UMassMedNow, the online publication of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, highlighted the members of its 2016 Summer Enrichment Program, including Clark University's Iva Hoxha '17. Hoxha, who came to the United States from Albania with her family when she was 15, took part in the program, which gives aspiring medical students from economically disadvantaged homes and backgrounds underrepresented in medicine the chance to get first-hand experience with what it's like to work in health care.
Here, an excerpt from the article:
" 'This experience has been life-changing,' said Iva Hoxha, a rising senior at Clark University whose family emigrated from Albania in 2010 when she was 15. 'The guidance they have given us is telling us like it is: This is medical school and wanting it and doing it is not the same thing. They aren’t trying to make it scary for us, they are telling us the truth that if we want to do this for the rest of our lives it is a really big commitment.'
"Hoxha also participated in the UMMS High School Health Careers Program while attending Worcester’s South High School. Her passion for patient care was sparked by her father, an anesthesiologist in Albania, who brought his family to the United States for better educational opportunities.
"The immersive summer enrichment program combines challenging academics; stimulating community and cultural health seminars, real-world shadowing experiences in UMass Memorial Medical Center’s level-one emergency department; face-to-face interactions with UMMS faculty, admissions personnel and medical students; rigorous MCAT practice; and mock admissions interviews. The packed dawn-to-dusk schedule jolted class members with reality checks on time management, study skills and personal presentation."