The Beginning of a Pre-Med Journey

Mike Kareores, Biomedical Physics, Pre-Med Track, Health Science Minor, Ethics Minor, COS ’23 //

Hi everyone, my name is Mike Kareores and I am so excited that you are interested in Northeastern and checking out these student blogs! I am currently a 2nd year majoring in Biomedical Physics on a pre-med track with minors in Health Science and Ethics–does that seem like a lot? Well, we will certainly get into all that as we go through this piece! I am from Haverhill, Massachusetts (just about 30 miles North of campus) and besides being a Husky Ambassador, I am also involved with the Society for Physics Students, the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Catholic Center, and hope to soon join many more of the amazing clubs around campus; outside of Northeastern, I love to cook, do photography, and golf. So there is a little background on me, but now I will get into the main crux of this blog: informing you about experiences I have had during my time here! 

Ever since I imagined myself being a grown-up, having a real job and responsibilities, I have wanted to be a doctor; I never knew exactly what kind of doctor, but my aspiration to help save the world one person at a time would not easily be taken from me. As I went through high school taking my biology, chemistry, and physics courses, my love for the sciences grew larger and larger, but being at a catholic school (shoutout to Central Catholic in Lawrence, MA!!!) my religion classes kept me grounded in an ethical sort of mindset as well.

There are so many directions that students can go in during their college years, and pre-med is by no means the easiest, but in my very biased opinion, I believe the gain vastly outweighs the cost of being a pre-med student, especially at Northeastern! 

Here are some tips I have learned over my time here that have greatly benefitted me along my journey as a pre-med student:

  1. Do not put all of your emotional energy into your classes – yes, they are all important, but a singular class will not be the decider between you going to the med school of your dreams and not getting in.
  2. Find a solid support group that understands your goals and will allow you to grow into those – you will quickly find that your peers are looking for the same kinds of support that you are, finding friends to study with, but also relax with, are key to doing well in some of those big lecture courses like Biology and Chemistry.
  3. Be open and honest with your advisors – whether it is your academic advisor, pre-med advisor, co-op advisor, or any other advisor, they are here to help you and make the journey as smooth as possible; keeping them updated on your goals and aspirations greatly helps you in the long run.
  4. Fit in electives where you can – having a course during the semester that is not solely STEM-based can feel like a relief at times. For me, I sort of stumbled upon an Ethics minor, and now those courses I take are some of my favorites. I have some friends with the most random of minors while still being pre-med: make them fun, develop a passion, do what gets you excited!
  5. Make the journey enjoyable – focusing on medical school 4+ years down the road is not great for your well-being. Sure, long-term goals are great to have, but sometimes it takes looking at the smaller details before you look at the big picture overall. So go out to dinner with your friends (of course be safe and follow those COVID regulations, so maybe a nice Zoom call for now), take a Friday/Saturday night off from school work, and appreciate where you are in the moment. 

I think the biggest thing I have learned over the past 2 years, but especially since March, is about gratitude. I have the ability to study what I have always dreamed of at one of the best universities in the country; I have made some lifelong friends along the way and have some of the best advisors helping me along my path. Now, of course it is not all sunshine and daisies, and the course requirements of a pre-med are by no means “GPA boosters”, but there is growth in the struggle, and satisfaction in finally understanding that physics concept you have been working at for 3 weeks, or getting a grip on enthalpy, entropy, and every other word that sounds exactly like those in Chemistry. 

At the end of the day, I believe it is about looking at yourself and seeing why you want to study medicine and eventually become a doctor. For me, if I am a pediatric oncologist, I know I have the ability to change the entire dynamic of a young person’s life, to aid them, and to possibly give them the ability to go on and live the big and full life that they deserve. I am grateful for even the ability to begin my journey to one day helping those kids get the very most out of their lives.

Thank y’all so much for allowing me to ramble on about being a pre-med student at Northeastern for a little while! Although it is not for everyone, I could not be happier in my decision to become pre-med and push forward in my journey to one day be the best doctor that I can be. 

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