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Intensive Medical Sciences Program Meet Patrice Clemenza

Patrice Clemenza, Intensive Medical Sciences

Tell us a little about your background before you came to Drexel.

I graduated from Duquesne University in 2019. I took three gap years before I was accepted into medical school. Throughout those years I worked as a research specialist, medical scribe and medical assistant. My last gap year I obtained my master’s degree from Drexel University.

Why did you decide to enroll in a post-baccalaureate program? And why did you feel the Intensive Medical Sciences program was a good fit for you?

I had a lower MCAT score, but a higher GPA. I applied to medial school twice before completing my post-baccalaureate program. I decided to complete the IMS program because I was not getting into medical school. Since I had a lower MCAT score and I already took the exam three times, I thought it would be a great opportunity to show medical schools my academic capabilities.

Since graduating from the IMS program, what did you do to continue building your medical school application?

During the IMS program I continued to volunteer, but I mainly focused on my academics. During the program I was accepted into medical school.

What influenced you to want to become a doctor?

I wanted to become a physician from a very young age. I always enjoyed my science classes so I knew I wanted to do something relevant to that subject. Throughout high school and college I shadowed different physicians and volunteered at hospitals further solidifying my decision to go into medicine. My volunteer experiences were instrumental in my decision because I enjoyed working together with patients helping solve their problems.

What has allowed you to achieve your current accomplishments?

My mental strength and resilience have allowed me to achieve my current accomplishments. As someone who always knew they wanted to become a physician, going through two rejection cycles and taking three gap years was extremely challenging. There were times where I had to question if this was something I really wanted to do. However, I had a wonderful support system of family and friends that constantly reminded me to fight through the struggles and keep pushing to achieve my dream. I am so incredibly proud of myself for fighting through the adversity because I would not be where I am today.

As one of our successful students, what advice would you give to current and future Intensive Medical Sciences students?

Stick with the process. The Intensive Medical Sciences program is very challenging. It's full of anxiety because you want to excel in the program so you can get into medical school. However, the weeks will pass, the exams will come and go and by the time you know it—it's graduation! The Intensive Medical Sciences program has prepared me so well as a first-year medical student. I came into class with a strong background knowledge and the proper study skill set to succeed. I feel more prepared for Step 1 of my boards because I have seen some of the information twice now. The Intensive Medical Sciences program sets you up for success as a first-year medical student.

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