The Health & Wellness Professional Network sponsored an on-campus panel discussion on the topic of Alternatives to Medical School. On March 6, more than 50 students from all class years attended the program to learn about career options in the field of health care. The panelists included Dr. Robert Raiber ’68, dentist; Caroline Baker ’05, physician assistant; Rachel Stahl ’11, nutritionist; and Erin Murray ’13, session assistant. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Julie Chanatry, chair of the Colgate Health Sciences Advisory Committee and member of the chemistry department faculty.
The alumni shared insights into their respective fields as well as their personal career paths. They talked about their Colgate experience and what factors influenced their decision to pursue careers in health. The students found both their advice and the exposure to new careers very beneficial. Courtney Dunphy ’18 said, “I was under the impression that most jobs in the field required medical school so I was thankful to hear from so many of our alumni about all the other options. It was nice to hear how the panelists decided that medical school wasn’t for them and how they were able to find other careers they love.”
According to Jack Nuveen ’16, the panel opened his eyes to another option within the industry. “The Alternatives to Medical School panel encouraged creativity and open-mindedness when it comes to looking for jobs in health care. Dr. Raiber provided the student attendees with a unique perspective on the dental field saying that being a dentist is equivalent to being a ‘physician of the mouth,’ and he encouraged students with a different and interesting perspective that they would not otherwise be able to obtain at Colgate.”
Dr. Raiber’s advice also resonated with Matthew McDowell ’16, who said he spoke to Dr. Raiber following the panel to learn more about dentistry, a field he had not previously considered.
From the robust attendance, we know that our students are interested in learning about the varied and diverse career options in health care. The Health & Wellness Professional Network looks forward to offering similar panels in the future.
Post written by Colleen Oliva, career advisor in the Center for Career Services