USD Pre-Med Society continues to grow despite COVID-19
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USD Pre-Med Society continues to grow despite COVID-19

USD’s Pre-Med Society has kept busy even despite COVID-19. 

Tanner Nordseth is the Pre-Med Society President. Nordseth said the goal of the society is to give pre-med students the resources they need to succeed from their freshman year all the way until they take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and apply to medical school.

“Beyond just getting them into med school, we also try and expose them to a really wide array of specialties,” Nordseth said.

The Pre-Med society offers students an array of opportunities to further their undergraduate education, including this year’s second annual skills clinic on the Sanford School of Medicine Sioux Falls Campus.

Guest speakers from all kinds of specialties are brought in to expose students to a diverse range of practices. Past speakers had specialties including dermatology, dietary, trauma surgery, family practice and ear, nose and throat, Nordseth said.

Michael Eggum, the Pre-Med Society secretary, said the Pre-Med Society participates in philanthropic endeavors, including a pumpkin painting party with SESDAC. This year, the event with SESDAC was held virtually.

The Pre-Med Society hosted the Sanford School of Medicine’s Pre-Med Day Saturday. The event was organized and directed by Dr. Pasquale Manzerra, assistant dean of medical student affairs, and Nikki Hinrich, the admission and recruitment assistant.

“Students could log into an informational zoom session and could hear an overview of the curriculum, the program and a general overview of the mission initiative of Stanford School of Medicine and we had a really good turnout there,” Nordseth said.

“In March, some of our members were also able to attend our annual Skills Clinic in Sioux Falls with Sanford School of Medicine medical students. USD SSOM’s Pre-Med Day was also this past Saturday where the Pre-Med Society typically has a strong presence,” Eggum said.

Along with guest speakers and educational activities, the student organization meets twice a month. 

“We try to give students a holistic view of not only what it takes to get into med school, what med school itself is like, what’s waiting on the other side, and what a medical career as a physician someday looks like,” Nordseth said.

Nordseth said the society has adopted a hybrid format this year, with about three quarters of their members attending in-person and the rest over Zoom.

“We have been fortunate in that we have had the opportunity to conduct most of our normal meetings and activities,” Eggum said.

The Pre-Med Society has significantly grown throughout the past year.

“This year during the pandemic, our active membership has actually almost tripled this year. We’re hoping that will bode well going forward, but also I think that really mirrors a nationwide effect of this pandemic,” Nordseth said. “Med school applications have significantly increased; its a record setting year. There’s just been such a spotlight on the need for healthcare worker positions especially.”

The Pre-Med society will have its last meeting of the year on April 28.

For more information go to the USD Pre-Med Society Facebook page, @usdpremedsociety on Instagram or @USDPremed on Twitter.