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Post-baccalaureate Pre-medical Program Meet Abigail McKnight
PMED Program Class of 2022

Abigail McKnight, Drexel Post-baccalaureate Pre-medical Program, Class of 2022

Hometown: Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago
Undergraduate: City University of New York, Hunter College - Psychology

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you came to Drexel, and what you’re studying now?

I was born on the island of Trinidad, where I resided for a short period of time before moving to the island of St. Vincent. From there our little family moved to the United States to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities available. I graduated undergrad with cum laude honors from City University of New York, Hunter College.

In every sense of the word, I am considered a non-traditional student. I am a wife and mother of four children (ages 16, 4, 2, and 1) and I’m expecting my fifth child in March. Currently, I am a full-time Senior Tax Analyst at the IRS, where I am responsible for overseeing six headquarter analysts and hundreds of business programs on a national level. During filing season, I serve as a volunteer tax consultant to assist the community with tax return questions and ensure compliance.

I am also the founder of a nonprofit organization called “Smarty Pants Kids,” focused on fostering a love of science in toddlers and kids in underserved communities. We conduct small, but fun science projects via Zoom. During my downtime, I love to sing. I published my first album, “Simply Beautiful,” on a variety of music platforms a few years ago and am working on completing my second body of work for publishing. My days are typically jam-packed, but with meticulous organizing, scheduling and passion for what brings me joy, it all works out.

What drew you to your field of study, and to the College of Medicine specifically?

From childhood, I have always loved the idea of exploring the world around me through science. Over time, my career goals shifted from wanting to be an astronomer, to a volcanologist, marine biologist and meteorologist. However, the change to wanting to work in medicine was sparked by the premature deaths of my uncle and aunt. The disparity of health care in poorer countries, such as St. Vincent, sparked a new passion that simply grew over time. This energy was refocused into a desire to serve the community by becoming a doctor. After extensive research, I immediately gravitated to the College of Medicine’s post-baccalaureate pre-medical program. Their mission to assist underrepresented communities and increase involvement in the field of medicine aligned perfectly with my goals and aspirations. Statistically, they were the right fit for me – but more importantly, the heart of the school is what captivated me.

What advice would you give incoming students in your program?

Enjoy the process of deep learning to get to your goals. If you are doing what you love, it cannot be classified as work.