for Healthcare Education
at Miami University
Student Profile: Josh Kaine (Class of 2013)
- B.S. in biochemistry and engineering physics, with a computer science minor
- from Cincinnati, OH
- in the Honors program
- member of the Mallory-Wilson Center Student Advisory Board
- recipient of the 2012 Provost's Student Academic Achievement Award
"Being a double major and in the Honors Program has certainly kept me busy. The Honors Program has allowed me to truly take control of my own education and customize it to fit my goals. The professors here are first-rate and there is a huge variety in the types of classes offered. In between biochemistry and computational physics, I've found time to take cool classes such as beginning ceramics and the history of nuclear weapons (my favorite class thus far). Double majoring in biochemistry and engineering physics, although difficult at times, has put me in a great position for the MCAT, medical school, and life after Miami."
Finding a Passion
"Like many students just starting college, I had no idea what I wanted to do with all of my free time and newfound independence. There were literally hundreds of clubs to choose from, dozens of sports to play, and countless other organizations to get involved with. After signing up for a bunch of different clubs, I quickly came to the realization that I had to choose my activities carefully because no matter how badly I wanted to do everything, it was simply not possible. Now, I spend a large amount of my time working with the Miami Chemical Society and in a research lab, and I couldn't be happier with my decision.
"I've been conducting undergraduate research in the Chemistry Department since September of my freshman year. Like everyone else, I started off doing the basic, mundane tasks that nobody wanted to do. Now, after three years, I am working independently on multiple different projects, synthesizing compounds, and analyzing my own data. In doing research, I have been able to present at national, regional, and local conferences.
"So far, I've been to Anaheim and Indianapolis and have plans to present in San Diego and New Orleans in the coming years. I've put a large amount of my time into research, but the experience has been incredibly rewarding and I would definitely do it again if given the choice."
Getting Medical Experience: At Home and Abroad
"When applying to medical school one of the most important things that is considered is the amount of experience you've had in the field. Not only does it show that you are interested in medicine, but it also shows that you are willing to commit time to investigating your future career. This being said, I've recently begun volunteering at Oxford's hospital in the emergency room. Seeing as I hope to become an ER doctor one day, the practical experience has been great. Getting into volunteering is really simple and there are many different opportunities. The various pre-med organizations and the service fraternity are great resources for finding volunteer opportunities.
"The summer before coming to Miami I was afforded the opportunity to go on a medical mission trip and it has been, by far, the best experience in medicine I've had. We spent two weeks in Honduras (right in the middle of the 2009 coup), working the clinic in the small town of La Cuesta and the surrounding mountain villages. Seeing the disparity in healthcare between America and Honduras was downright shocking—what they consider normal medical practice is, for some Americans, the equivalent of a nightmare. Equally as valuable as the medical experience, was the cultural experience—interacting with people who lead entirely different lives than my own added a new dimension to the experience. Getting medical experience isn't strictly about the science; more importantly, it is learning how to interact with other people. Above all, this trip affirmed my desire to become a doctor so that I might be able to make a difference in somebody else's life."
Life at Miami
"Being a pre-med student isn't easy. There have been countless hours of studying and many, many evenings spent with textbooks. This being said, the most important advice I can give is to remember that while classes are important, having fun in college is equally as important. No matter how busy my coursework keeps me, I somehow manage to always find time for going out with friends, playing broomball, practicing Tae Kwon Do, and going skiing (weather permitting, of course). Keeping busy with activities other than schoolwork has helped to keep me sane throughout my time here and has certainly made my time at Miami more enjoyable!"
Words of Wisdom
- Don't try to be involved with everything — find what you enjoy and stick with it.
- Find a balance between schoolwork and having fun — you will be glad that you did. (I know I am!)
- Use the resources Miami and the Mallory-Wilson Center provide you in your premed journey — these people really know what they are talking about.