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MD Program Meet Student Alise Peckjian

Alise Peckjian, 3rd Year MD Program Student


Hometown: Lower Moreland, Pennsylvania
Undergraduate: Drexel University, BS in Biomedical Engineering (Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Concentration)
Medical School: Drexel University College of Medicine Class of 2020


Can you tell me a little about yourself before you came to Drexel?

I wrapped up my biomedical engineering degree at Drexel University (Class of 2016) prior to my matriculation to Drexel’s medical school. In addition to my studies, I enjoyed taking ballet classes; developed, implemented and co-chaired the Health and Wellness Club; and was section leader for the tenor saxophone section in our concert band.

When did you know that you wanted to become a doctor?

I realized that I wanted to become a doctor at the end of my senior year of high school. The original career track was to complete an engineering degree, attend law school and practice IP law for medical devices. However, following a senior capstone experience, in which I volunteered at Fox Chase Cancer Center, my plans changed. The experience involved patient interaction, from distributing blankets and hats for the women undergoing chemotherapy to shadowing robotic surgeries. At the end of the day, not only was the clinical exposure at the center intriguing, but I was happy and satisfied by my contribution to brightening the day of patients.

Do you know what kind of medicine you’d like to specialize in?

Currently, I am interested in specialties that have a mix of procedural and clinical work, encompassing OB/GYN and Pulmonology.

Why did you apply to Drexel’s medical school?

As an undergraduate student at Drexel, I established connections in the biomedical engineering department with my professors as well as with research contacts within Drexel University College of Medicine. I wanted to maintain those relationships while going through medical school.

How has the program been going so far?

So far the program has been great! There was an adjustment to the course load during the first year, as well as finding a new work-life balance, but that was to be expected. During the second year, everything you learned in first year starts to come together, which makes the content more applicable and enjoyable.

What is your relationship like with the faculty?

The faculty at Drexel actively care about your well-being and success, which is a major shift from undergrad to graduate school. There is never a feeling of indifference to anyone's struggle; communication is always open.

What is your relationship like with your fellow classmates?

On the whole, the student body is inclusive. I have my cadre of close friends that I've developed over the last 2 years, as well as some who I exclusively study with. During third year, you're often alone at the hospital, so I would encourage future students to check in with friends from time-to-time.

Are you involved in any extracurricular activities?

I was an Art Club co-president this past year. The events that we had varied from planting succulents and painting the pots for patients to trips to art exhibitions. I was also the event coordinator for DrExcel Health, an interest group that focuses on informing the student body about the biomedical engineering industry, and how doctors can fit into the picture. During my first year, I participated in Mothers and Baby Dragons, in which I followed a high-risk pregnant woman up to term and postpartum. I also gave tours/demonstrations of the gross anatomy lab for STEM students and various camps, and volunteered at the Eliza Shirley House clinic.

What have your clinical rotations been like?

Yes, I am starting my third week of OB/GYN over at Abington Hospital now. The hours are rigorous, but the team of attendings and residents have been excellent teachers, and there have been plenty of opportunities to finally practice what we've been studying for so long.

How is living in Philadelphia?

I absolutely love living in Philadelphia! For some people, it's nice to be within easy walking distance to school. For myself personally, I wanted to have a more physical break between work life and daily living. There is always something going on in town, and a wide selection of restaurants and shopping is easily accessible. I personally found walking the Schuylkill River Trail a refreshing break from studying. It made traveling to Hahnemann for early morning surgical shadowing, research work and patient interactions easier. The only issue with living in town was coming to school on the weekend, but if you have a car or another preferred form of transportation, that is not a problem.

What advice do you have for someone who is considering coming to Drexel for medical school?

Get ready to hit the ground running! But do not hesitate to reach out if you need help, whether it is issues with personal or academic life. There are so many resources available to you as a student here at Drexel, and the faculty want to assist you as much as they can.

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Contact Information

Drexel University College of Medicine
Office of Admissions
60 N. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

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