October 31, 2017

A summer program at Columbia University medical school gave Jalen Anderson ’19 a glimpse inside the health care profession—and motivation to keep working toward medical school.

“This program helped me realize that medical school can be an option for me as long as I apply myself to do well in school and in my extracurricular activities,” says the neuroscience major and philosophy minor from Bronx, N.Y.

At Columbia’s Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP), Anderson took physics and organic chemistry, two courses required for medical school admission. He also did clinical rotations through various medical professions and attended career development sessions and health policy seminars.

“The two classes I was enrolled in were two of the harder classes that the program offered. Being in those two classes, and having to learn 14 weeks of material in six weeks, made myself and others come up with different ways to study the material,” Anderson says.

Anderson decided to study neuroscience at Susquehanna because he wanted to do research on drug therapies to help treat and overcome drug addiction.

“It’s amazing to me how much the brain can do and it excites me to learn about its functions,” Anderson says.

He added a philosophy minor after taking Everyday Ethics his first year.

“I really enjoyed the conversations and how philosophy made me think deeply about everything. Since I have taken that course and added the minor I feel that I have become a better intellectual because philosophy challenges me to analyze situations and think about the different aspects of life,” he says.