for Healthcare Education
at Miami University
Student Profile: Brook Munger (Class of 2012)
- senior zoology major with minors in Spanish and neuroscience
- from Indianapolis, IN
- member of the Mallory-Wilson Center Student Advisory Board
- taking a year off between undergraduate and medical school to live in a Spanish-speaking country and gain medical experience
Study Abroad: Argentina
"My education at Miami has been greatly enriched not only through my pursuit of my zoology degree but also through the University Honors Program. Two of my greatest experiences through Honors were running a half marathon for charity and traveling to Argentina for two weeks.
"My trip to Argentina continues to be the highlight of my experiences, especially since I am a Spanish minor. For the first half of the trip, we visited Buenos Aires, and I had the chance to practice my Spanish-speaking skills. After exploring the historical and breathtaking city, we flew to the Patagonia region (the area that the brand is named after!) for backpacking. The intention of the trip was to implement outdoor leadership skills. The five days that were spent well out of my comfort zone were some of the best of my life. I didn't have a cell phone to check or worry about class assignments.
"One of the most memorable parts of backpacking was the water being so pure that it's not necessary to filter it. You simply could dip your water bottle in a stream and drink it. We also hiked on a glacier, which was a surreal event in itself. This picture is of me at Lagos Tres (Lake Three) after a steep half-day hike that was entirely uphill."
"I've been fortunate enough to job shadow at Riley Hospital for Children. Initially, I was apprehensive in the hospital setting, but ended up loving every moment. I shadowed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where I saw premature babies struggling to survive on their own. I learned that advances in this field have grown exponentially, and preemie babies have much higher survival rates today.
"I also shadowed a general hospitalist, a doctor who was assigned the 'catch all' cases that did not necessarily need a specialist. We hit almost every floor of the many-storied hospital. Each patient was an entirely different case. I was most impressed with this doctor's ability to create relationships with patients and parents. This is something that I will strive for when I practice medicine."
"I came to Miami not knowing a single person. To me this was exciting, yet intimidating. My freshman year, I rushed for a sorority and I'm proudly a member of Phi Mu. I've met some of my best friends through my sorority and the Greek community. In my chapter, I've held leadership positions such as pledge class president and recording secretary.
"My greatest achievement has been my position as VP of programming on Panhellenic Association (the governing council over all sororities at Miami). My main task was to plan and run Greek Week, a nine-day annual competition where the 50+ fraternities and sororities come together as a community through competitive and service events. I was in charge of a $25,000 budget and headed a twelve-member executive board with my counterpart. Because I had to speak in front of the entire Greek community at every event, I'm no longer anxious when speaking in front of a crowd.
"Even though I planned accordingly beforehand, unforeseen issues arose throughout the competition. The most valuable lesson I learned was how to 'fly by the seat of your pants' in order to do the right thing in the best manner. This is something that can be applied to medicine. No matter how much you prepare for a situation, complications will arise and you will need to make a decision immediately."
My Advice to Students:
- Explore! There are innumerable opportunities on this campus. Be curious, ask questions, and get involved. There is no single pathway to medical school. An interesting college experience is great for medical school interviews and easy to talk about.
- Enjoy the moment. To prospective freshmen: I am so jealous. College has been the best time of my life; cliché, but nonetheless true. Make academics your priority, but take time to have fun.
- Get to know your professors early on. They are there to help and will be writing your recommendation letters for medical school. It's awkward to ask for a recommendation letter when you've never spoken to your professor.