While I am first and foremost a proud Viterbi engineer, I wanted to write a post on my minor, since it’s pretty unique and, in my mind, encapsulates the flexibility of opportunities available here at SC. I have a minor in Healthcare Studies, a program offered by the Keck School of Medicine—it requires a bunch of basic science courses, but also offers a bunch of amazing upper division electives, from emergency medicine to human cadaveric anatomy. Many of the hands-on classes are actually at the Health Science campus, giving us a chance to visit the medical school for a couple hours each week. My pre-med, Grey’s Anatomy obsessed side was absolutely ECSTATIC when I found out about this program; I immediately applied to be a part of it.
There are a multitude of perks that come with this minor, but one of the things I love most about it is the fact that the majority of the classes required are taught by Keck faculty. I get to interact with USC’s talented faculty on a day to day basis, but getting to interact with faculty from a highly ranked medical school is an absolute privilege. They really know what it’s like to be in medical school, and they know what it takes to get there, and best of all, they LOVE to share their knowledge and wisdom with undergrads. I’ve had quite a few interesting discussions with these industry leaders after class, and they’re all really welcoming and friendly; they often give you contact information so you can keep in touch for further questions.
One of the coolest experiences I’ve had so far was a part of my MEDS 220 seminar class, taught by Dr. Sean Nordt. He had us come to Keck for a showing of Code Black, a documentary about the creation of the field of emergency medicine at LA County Hospital, and the legendary C-booth. Then, after the movie was over, he took us across the street to the actual hospital where it was filmed!!!! LA County Hospital moved its location in 2012, but the old hospital where emergency medicine was invented still stands, and we got to get a tour of it from someone who worked there himself. It was truly a memorable experience.
The other awesome part about this minor is the community of people I get to interact with. As an engineer, I’ve naturally gotten close to a lot of people in the Viterbi family, whether that be through classes, organizations or living with them (shoutout to Birnkrant!), but my minor classes give me a great way to bond with other people who have similar career aspirations to me. We get to discuss the science of medicine, health policy, hospital ethics and many other topics within the healthcare field while really getting a feel for what life is like in med school through our interactions with Keck faculty and students. It’s honestly such a great program, and even though I’d always categorize myself first as a BME student, my Healthcare Studies minor gives me a chance to experience a different community on campus—the pre-health family. It all comes back to why I love USC so much—you can really find communities for every one of your interests, and they’ll all be supportive and welcoming.Meet Rhea