Pre-health: MAPS

It’s no secret that pre-health students try to do it all: take hard classes, join clubs, do research, volunteer, shadow, and the list goes on. Yet, perhaps in their process of searching through Jacket Pages, scouring students might have overlooked one key organization: MAPS.
MAPS, an abbreviation for Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, is a relatively small and tight-knit organization which provides opportunities and resources for pre-medical students. Founded in spring of 2013 by a group of undergraduate students, it serves to help students succeed and to promote “diversity in the work force” (“About Us”). MAPS is run by an executive board including interviewee executive board member, Vice President Adriana Bodlak. Bodlak is a third year Biomedical Engineering and pre-health student who aspires to go into neonatology – the study of caring for very young infants from birth to 28 days. Also, she is a part of Stamps Health Ambassadors and is currently preparing for the upcoming MCAT in April.

MAPS provides an abundance of useful resources such as contact with doctors, as well as a discount on MCAT preparation material. It also helps members get more involved in the pre-health community and works with several other pre-health organizations, such as AMSA, in order to organize events. When asked about the time commitment to MAPS, Bodlak noted that “it’s really what each individual member is willing to contribute. MAPS provides the resources and it depends on whether the members want to make use of them.

As Bodlak said, one of the goals the organization is currently working towards is the creation of a three-tier mentorship program. This program would consist of Georgia Tech pre-medical students shadowing current medical students while at the same time visiting high schools to promote interest in STEM fields. Emory Medical School has already been contacted to try to make this idea a reality.

Another benefit of being active in MAPS and attending their events is networking with key pre-medical faculty on campus such as the new Pre-Health Adviser Francisco Castelan. Notably, MAPS recently hosted an event where their members got to meet and talk to him in a small group environment.
In a time when pre-health college students are so focused on getting into a medical school, MAPS has also had DO/PA panels to help broaden our understanding of healthcare and to let students know that there are other options besides Medical School. There was also a panel on changes in healthcare and how that could affect future career options. In addition to these informative events, there are also fun events such as volunteering at a dance marathon fundraiser!

Along with all of these amazing opportunities, MAPS membership is free and formal applications are not required. If interested, students can simply join the MAPS mailing list and fill out a brief and simple Google Docs form and then start attending meetings and participating in events.
Overall it is easy to join MAPS and most importantly, they provide free food! Who can reject being a part of an organization with such vast collections of connections and resources while enjoying a pizza or Jimmy Johns?

References

“About Us.” MAPS @ Georgia Tech. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.