By Rachel Dinh
TPA has witnessed the birth of many new clubs this year, with the newest one being Pre-Med Club. This club was started by seventh-grader Caroline Webster. She says, “I thought about starting a business, but I couldn’t think of any good business ideas so my sister suggested starting a club. She told me how the pre-med club at her school went really well. To me it sounded like a great idea.” It must have seemed like a great idea to some people, because the first meeting saw a room packed with students from all grade levels.
The meeting began with an ice-breaker where members got to know each other by asking strange questions and filling out a Bingo sheet. Then they were asked to write down suggestions for activities for Med-Club. For the last two meetings before the end of the year, the members decided on a trip to the Arizona Science Center and a guest speaker. This year’s Pre-Med Club is just a preview of the big things happening next year. “My plans for the club next year are to have the club be more official and for club members to learn a lot and have fun. We will continue to have guest speakers, go on field trips, and do other activities and we will add a volunteering aspect to the club,” explains Caroline.
Students who came to the club had various reasons for joining. For some, it was the chance to explore different careers in the medical field. Some were simply interested in learning about life-saving techniques and the day-to-day work of physicians, neurosurgeons, or neonatalists. Joseph Campbell says his reason for joining was “It’s a way for me to learn about the medical field, which is something I’ve always been interested in. Plus, the snacks are great!”
The first guest speaker to come was Dr. Ryff, an optometrist who actually graduated from TPA! Dr. Ryff went to ASU for her undergrad and then to the Southern California College of Optometry for graduate school. Most people think optometrists just prescribe glasses and contacts, but they are also able to detect eye diseases that may be indicative of other diseases in the whole body. Dr. Ryff opened her own private practice, does vision therapy, fits specialty contacts, and helps people who are going blind.
If this information still doesn’t make you want to go to the next meeting, word is that the club is planning to do dissections next year, provided that students are willing to pay extra fees. And Caroline puts it best: “Everyone is invited to join TPA’s Pre-med Club! The club is designed for people who enjoy having fun and are interested in medicine.”