Merit Scholar Profiles: Brianna DiSanza
Terceira, Portugal - Winter 2016
University of Virginia class of 2017
2017 Scientific Publication to The Oculus: University of Virginia's Multidisciplinary Research Journal, 2016 Paul Mellon Scholar, 2015 All-USA Community College Academic Team, 2015 Phi Theta Kappa Guistwhite Scholar, 2015 VFW District 8 Scout of the Year, 2015 President's Volunteer Service Award
Transfer student peer advisor, American Medical Student Association, Taekwondo Club, Pre-Health Organization, Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-med Honor Society, volunteer at The Virginia Discovery Museum in Charlottesville
why did you choose the atlantis fellowship?
I knew the Atlantis Project would provide me with much-needed experience of shadowing doctors and witnessing the practice of medicine first-hand. Applying to medical school is highly competitive, and I felt as though this program can provide me with a great competitive edge. I also had the ability to observe healthcare within a publicly-funded system, which is something I have always considered very important.
HOW IS THE ATLANTIS PROJECT UNIQUE?
The Atlantis Project not only provides an incredible amount of exposure to a variety of different medical fields by allowing students to rotate specialities, it also helps students bolster their medical school applications by offering pre-med students unique access to volunteering, MCAT preparation courses, and research opportunities in the medical humanities.
DESCRIBE THE ATLANTIS PROJECT IN THREE WORDS:
Inspiring. Priceless. Motivational.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE EXPERIENCE AS AN ATLANTIS FELLOW?
A memory I will cherish for the rest of my life was experiencing New Years Eve with the Atlantis Fellows on the top of a 700 year old castle.
WHAT WAS THE MOST MEANINGFUL ASPECT OF YOUR TIME SHADOWING?
Shadowing with the Atlantis Project further instilled within me the importance of studying medicine cross-culturally. I learned a lot about Portugal's healthcare system as well as the close nature of the patient-physician relationship in Portuguese culture. I'm glad I got to learn medicine from a different perspective through the doctors I shadowed.
What are your post-grad plans?
I plan to attend the NIH Summer Internship Program during the summer of 2017, become a trained EMT, and be accepted into a medical scribe program during my gap year. In the end, my ultimate dream is to attend medical school and become a pediatric surgeon.
HOW HAS THE ATLANTIS PROJECT HELPED EQUIP YOU FOR THE FUTURE?
The Atlantis Project has helped equip me for my future by giving me tremendous cultural experience that I can take with me for the rest of my life and into my future career. It also gave me a broadened perspective as a future physician by deepening my understanding of healthcare in a global context by observing host countries that see government as having a greater role in healthcare.