Spotlight: Meredith Furst


Name: Meredith Furst
Major: Nutritional Sciences
HCMP Role: Director of Admissions
Classification: Senior
Associations: Delta Delta Delta, Order of Omega Honor Society

Describe a shadowing experience that has impacted you the most. 
While the surgeries I observed were amazing, my most memorable shadowing experiences was actually in a small, private practice clinic on a slow Tuesday morning. Nothing particularly exciting happened case wise, but watching Dr. Poonawalla interact with her patients was like watching two old friends catch up. She knew all about their families, jobs, and even hobbies. Her specific relationship with each patient demonstrated the importance of interaction and genuine care. It was this experience that I realized, as fascinating and impressive as surgery is, this is what being a doctor is all about. All too often in our world today, people get caught up in wanting to be recognized and glorified for their accomplishments. Medicine shouldn’t be about the glory. The real accomplishment comes from acknowledging your contribution to the health of that patient, no matter how small. She reminded me how integral her diagnosis of a condition was to the beginning of the treatment process. While she might not directly solve the problem, her work with other specialty physicians is crucial in order to create the best, and most efficient treatment plan for each patient. I want to be the kind of doctor that treats patients like people as opposed to just another case or chart. My time with Dr. Poonawalla really showed me why she loved being a physician: because she is passionate about service and about her patients. This lesson was unexpected, but I am so grateful for it. It is these interactions that reminds me what I want to do this and I will most definitely remember that lesson in my future.

How has HCMP benefited your professional or individual goals?
HCMP has given me access into the world of healthcare that many students don’t have until they reach professional school. The personal interaction with each doctor gives you insight into why they chose medicine, which has bolstered my own commitment to pursue this field. You also get to see so many diverse specialties and patients that keep every shadowing experience new and exciting. This opportunity to see so much in only a few months is not something many people get to experience until they actually go to medical school. My shadowing experiences have also given me a unique insight into what exactly we are getting into. The journey ahead will be long and challenging, but if I have learned anything from my shadowing experiences, it is that it is going to be worth it in so many ways.

What has been your favorite aspect of HCMP?
Before I knew about HCMP, I was really interested in finding a smaller professional group with interests similar to my own. When the opportunity presented itself, I knew this was something I couldn’t miss out on. After being accepted, I was worried about how I would be accepted by a group of very qualified and very driven students. However, HCMP welcomed graciously with open arms (and even a tunnel to run through on our first meeting.) Each member has helped me embrace my role in HCMP and in turn, developed my leadership skills and passion for improving this organization. Besides the benefit of shadowing, I have made great friendships with a new group of students driven by the same goals I have. The small size of our group has created a cohesive, supportive network that is unlike any other group I have worked with before. Truly, the members are what make HCMP such a great organization and I am so thankful to know each and every one of them. Joining HCMP has given me much more than just shadowing hours: it gave me a generous support system and a new group of incredible friends.