A member of the Class of 2014 Thomas Jefferson University/Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Alex Starks ‘08 is drawing on all her undergraduate resources to become the best possible doctor she can be.
Fluent in Spanish, Alex studied abroad for a summer in Central Mexico, interning at an orthopedic hospital and a clinic, and taking an intense course in medical Spanish. With double minors in biology and chemistry, she has a strong foundation in research methods. Driven to help deliver medicine to underserved populations, Alex is drawn to the public health arena.
“I’m attracted to the challenge of integrating the softer science of interacting with people and the hard science of medicine,” Alex says. “I can’t wait to get to the clinical years of med school so I can start working with people and apply what I’ve learned.”
The undergraduate summer program at La Universidad de Puebla provided her with valuable skills she’s using while working at a free clinic for Spanish-speaking immigrants in Philadelphia. “Volunteering at Puentes de Salud, where I get to practice clinical skills and work with the Spanish-speaking population in Philadelphia, is a big part of my life,” she says.
Alex thinks she’ll ultimately end up in primary care practice, but before beginning the M.D. program, she worked at Thomas Jefferson, conducting research and taking courses in public health to gain a broader range of experience. “I wanted to cover everything, from molecular-based science to the overall community aspect,” she said.
It’s the same inclusive attitude that made Alex choose Washington College, where the Hispanic Studies major enjoyed a range of experiences. She was a member of the varsity sailing team, an Alpha Chi Omega sorority sister, and a volunteer at the Chester River Hospital Center.
“Dr. Verville is a huge asset to the school and to the premedical program. She’s so supportive and well-informed, and she motivated me to keep up with my Spanish studies and get the grades I’d need to be accepted into medical school.”