Hometown: Bronx, NY
Undergraduate: Georgetown University, BS in Healthcare Management & Policy
Graduate: Drexel University College of Medicine, MS in Drexel Pathway to Medical School (DPMS)
Ahead of Match Day, Shana Talbot, MD Program Class of 2022, shared reflections on her medical school journey and her hopes for the future.
What drew you to medicine, and to the College of Medicine specifically?
I developed a passion for medicine at an early age. As a child I underwent several procedures and surgeries, which sparked my interest in human anatomy and biology. Over the years, my doctors played a significant role in not only treating my condition, but also improving my quality of life. I was inspired by their dedication to improving the health and well-being of their patients and I knew that I wanted a career that would allow me to have the same impact.
I came to Drexel after learning about the College of Medicine’s Drexel Pathway to Medical School (DPMS) program. Since I did not have a science background, this program offered an excellent opportunity to gain the medical knowledge I needed to prepare for medical school.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you came to Drexel?
Prior to DPMS, I worked as an implementation consultant for several health care technology companies where I designed and implemented workflow technology that optimized the hospitals’ revenue cycles. I worked closely with hospital leadership to design processes and tools to improve workflow efficiency and maximize reimbursement. My career offered me the opportunity to travel and live in different cities. However, I remained committed to my childhood dream of becoming a doctor, so I completed my pre-health studies at night while working a full-time job. The journey to medical school was challenging but valuable experience that prepared me for my future studies.
I would like to integrate my previous work experience with clinical medicine to create technology that could improve the management of health care. I would like to create an electronic dashboard that would integrate data from electronic medical records and billing systems to provide meaningful reports and statistics that hospitals executives could use to monitor their hospital’s financial performance and quality of care.
What specialty do you plan to go into? What influenced that choice?
My decision to pursue obstetrics and gynecology (ob/gyn) was unexpected. I initially developed an interest in primary care in medical school and gravitated towards training in Internal Medicine. However, during my last clinical rotation as a third-year medical student, I fell in love with ob/gyn. Not only did this specialty offer the opportunity to practice every aspect of medicine, from primary care to surgery, but I also got to work with my favorite patient population: young women. However, it was my experience on the delivery floor that solidified my decision. The rush of adrenaline and joy that I experienced while playing a small part in bringing new life into this world was invigorating. I knew this was how I wanted to practice medicine.
What are some of your favorite med school memories? What lessons have you learned here that you'll carry on into residency?
My favorite medical school memory is going out to lunch with my classmates after pre-clinical and shelf exams. It was a great way to unwind with friends and classmates after a stressful time. We explored different restaurants and attractions in Philadelphia. My experiences with my classmates and friends taught me the importance of working in a supportive environment. Medical school is really challenging, but being surrounded by supportive people made it easier. Due to this experience, I focused largely on work culture when ranking residency programs. I knew that I wanted to be surrounded by like-minded residents who truly supported and cared for one another.
What advice would you give to current medical students regarding residency interviews/the match process?
Reach out to residents who share a similar background to you. Often, I would ask residents of color or Drexel alumni if I could speak with them over the phone to learn about their experiences. While the pre-interview socials gave me a great opportunity to learn about a program’s culture, speaking to individual residents offered amazing, excellent insight that allowed me to better assess if I would be a good fit for their program.
How are you feeling ahead of Match Day? What are you looking forward to about the next step in your medical career?
I am feeling excited, but nervous. I am looking forward to finally having the opportunity to build longitudinal relationships with patients and explore different sub-specialties within ob/gyn.