Pre-Med Club creates space for driven students to reach goals


Kevin Ham

Kathy Pham and Seine Ham lead the first Pre-Med Club meeting on Jan. 25 at the Earth and Biological Sciences Building in Room 309 at Santa Barbara City College.

Valerie van den Broek, Features Editor

An exciting atmosphere filled a crowded City College lecture hall before the college’s first Pre-Med Club meeting Friday.

The chattering of the students in the hall died down when Co-President Kathy Phan asked “your patient is diagnosed with cancer, he wants to go to a holistic practitioner, what would you do?”

The club was created for City College students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine. The club also encourages its members to volunteer at medical centers like Cottage Hospital.

“One thing that makes this club so special is that I believe that this club is fairly unique among the community college system,” said Peter Aguilar, a bio-medical professor and advisor of the club. “Most colleges aren’t going to have pre-med or maybe the level of interest we have.”

Students who are seeking a career in a medical program can join, but anyone with an interest is encouraged be part of the club.

The club meetings will include a speaker from the medical field each month for the members to learn from. An emergency room physician will be the club’s first guest.

One of the students in the club is 72-year-old Karl Blasius.

“I think some of the guest speakers will help me with some insights on training,” he said. “For example, they can provide new perspectives on life, professions and current methods of treating people.”

Aguilar said the club is highly motivated and run by people who are very focused on their goals.

“The other clubs are more general interest kind of clubs,” Aguilar said. “But in this club, you are going to find a lot of academically-focused students who really have a defined career goal and are highly motivated to pursue those goals and get to med school or PA school.”

Besides offering information about medicine, the club also serves to discuss the courses pre-med students have to take. During the meeting, students talked about classes they have already taken and gave advice to students who still have to take those courses.

“These are your colleagues, and how great is it to study together,” said Phan, who is a UC Santa Barbara alumna.

The club meets at 2:30 p.m. the second and fourth Friday of the month in Earth and Biology Sciences Building Room 309.

“You may not have the best grades, or come from the best school,” Aguilar said. “But I think they all could potentially reach their goal as students coming from a community college.”