Ten Wofford College students spent part of their summer gaining experience for future careers in medicine with South Carolina’s largest health system.

Marisa Barrera ’22, Brendan McNeal ’22 and Jeff Woodward ’22 participated in Prisma Health’s Medical Experience Academy (MedEx) in Greenville, South Carolina. Sophia Washburn ’22 spent four weeks in the Finding Your Future program in Columbia, South Carolina, and met a fellow Terrier.

MedEx is a program that exposes and prepares students for careers in health care, beginning with high school seniors. Barrera, McNeal and Woodward participated in Tier IV of the program, which is geared for college students preparing for medical school. They shadowed physicians, participated in mock interviews for medical school, spent time in anatomy labs, attended lectures and joined second-year medical school students for patient case studies at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville.

“The program kept us on our feet,” says McNeal, a biology major from Woodruff, South Carolina, who is interested in anesthesiology and internal medicine. “Each day there were some guest speakers that were either physicians talking about their respective field or speakers that focused on certain aspects of the medical school application, such as the personal statement or work and activities section. Some days I was able to meet with medical students or Prisma Health faculty who helped edit my application, which was personally one of the most beneficial parts of MedEx.”

Barrera, a biology and Spanish major from Cowpens, South Carolina, also appreciated the support leading up to medical school and additional insight on a career in medicine.

“This summer gave me the guidance and support through mentorship to effectively complete my medical school application. It reaffirmed my passion about patient care in different clinical settings,” says Barrera, who is interested in internal medicine. “I feel more informed and knowledgeable about careers in medicine and the medical field.”

Barrera, McNeal and Woodward, a biology major from Simpsonville, South Carolina, saw each other often during the program, and Barrera is looking forward to the trio continuing to prepare for medical school together.

“Having some familiar faces from Wofford helped me connect more with other people and showed me that when I return to campus, I know I have a support system I can count on,” Barrera says. “It was interesting getting to see people I’ve known for years grow over the seven weeks we spent in MedEx.”

Washburn, a biology and psychology major from Lexington, South Carolina, spent her four weeks in the Finding Your Future program shadowing physicians and visiting cadaver and ultrasound labs. She entered the internship with plans of pursuing a career in psychiatry.

“This experience changed my perspective,” Washburn says. “It definitely revealed some other intriguing areas of medicine and made me excited to explore all of my options in the medical field.”

During an OB/GYN shadowing rotation, she met Dr. Elizabeth Nodelman ’12.

“I think it opened my eyes to the future and what my life could potentially be like,” says Washburn of meeting someone who shared similar experiences with her. “She is a very successful and busy woman, so I really appreciated her taking time out of her schedule to answer my questions, and to bond over our shared experience of Wofford and Theta. I also had the privilege to watch her perform multiple surgeries.”

Six Wofford students participated in tiers II and III of MedEx Academy: Feng Chen ’23, a biology major from Spartanburg; John Harrington ’23, a biology major from Katy, Texas; Sammy Omar ’23, a biology and psychology major from Fountain Inn, South Carolina; Jack Stomberger ’22, a biology major from Danville, Kentucky; Isabella Wells, a biology and religion major from Simpsonville, South Carolina; and Brady Wolfe, a biology and religion major from Chapin, South Carolina.