Sammi Marshall (Class of 2018)

  • senior Biology major, with a Premedical Studies co-major
  • minor in Spanish
  • from Cincinnati, OH
  • shadowed a pediatric urologist (for 14 hours per day) during her Mallory-Wilson Center preceptorship
  • participated in a medical mission to Nicaragua (January 2016); studied abroad in Luxembourg (Summer 2016)
"Don't hesitate when making decisions to pursue opportunities. Miami offers a lot that many schools don't have. When I'm deciding to take advantage of opportunities, such as my trip to Nicaragua, I always think about how I may not have such chances again in my life. Miami is a great place to be."

Why Miami?

"Being from suburban Cincinnati, I'd always known about Miami but had never visited until I took a tour in October my junior year of high school. I absolutely fell in love with the fall campus. I had already decided to pursue biology and pre-med, so that campus visit was also helpful for that. Going through the college application cycle a year later, I knew deep down that Miami was where I felt most at home.

"Living away from home was a big transition for me, and I was also getting used to how different college classes were from high school. It was a great learning experience during which I really grew as a person and helped make me who I am today.

"Miami became my new home, and I realized I could involve my family as much or little as I wanted. My favorite thing about Miami is how I feel when I'm here. The second I leave, I want to come back! That is something I have only experienced with my hometown.

"Living here in Oxford, we don't have the same access to a lot of stores and restaurants as we would in larger cities, but I like the close-knit feel and just being immersed with school. I also do like the ways I have been able to get involved with the local community."

Best Miami Experiences

"I've had two major highlights as a Miami student: doing a week-long preceptorship through the Mallory-Wilson Center for Healthcare Education and going on two different study abroad trips to Luxembourg and Nicaragua.

"The preceptorship, which is basically an opportunity where students shadow under practicing physicians to gain experience, was coordinated by one of my favorite professors, David Pennock, a professor of biology, my advisor, and director of the Mallory-Wilson Center. I can talk to him about pretty much anything!

In Granada, Nicaragua, Sammi Marshals poses with the Cathedral de Granada in the background.

"The physician I shadowed was Dr. Pramod Reddy, a pediatric urologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. When he was not in surgery or didn't have an interesting case, he would let me check with other surgeons in the practice to see what they were doing. I probably shadowed at least 5-10 different people throughout the week, about 14 hours a day!

"I went to a lot of surgeries and saw other really cool things, and I also was able to go to see patients who came to their regular office. I also had to go on patient rounds at 6 in the morning. It was a really exciting week to observe different types of medicine in practice, showing me what it's like to be a urologist — really cool but also daunting! I'm not going to lie — the 14-hour days were very long, but after a while I got the hang of things. Although it depends on the field of medicine, during the initial years of residency and the clinical rotations in med school those long days can be really common.

"When you shadow a doctor, they tell you about where they went to med school, what their own experiences were like, what led them there, why they chose their specialty, what their life is like now, and so on. It is really great to see how different people practice the same thing but lead really different lives.

"My first study abroad experience was at Miami's John E. Dolibois European Center in Luxembourg for 7 weeks during the summer of 2016, and we did a number of study tours and traveled around Europe. My key experience abroad, however, was a week-long medical immersion trip to Nicaragua in January 2016, led by senior lecturer of Spanish Nohelia Rojas-Miesse.

Sammi Marshall and a 4 Paws for Ability service dog.

"I'd taken several of Ms. Rojas-Miesse's classes, beginning with her medical Spanish class freshman year. At that time I'd decided to minor in Spanish, and her class showed me how valuable it would be in my future career, allowing me to help more patients. After going to Nicaragua, I've definitely a great new global perspective. It has opened my eyes to different world cultures and, particularly in terms of health care, different needs."

Miami and the Liberal Arts

"Having an education that focuses on more than the sciences, especially for science majors, is really important to broaden your mind. I find it very refreshing to take classes outside of biology or chemistry, such as a Spanish class (SPN 322) I had last fall about service learning projects, health disparities in Hispanic communities, and the use of Spanish in the healthcare field. The course is relevant to me because I plan to use Spanish when I become a doctor. I've begun applying to medical school and I will take a gap year after graduation during the application process.

"In high school, my science classes intrigued me but never went into much detail. Here at Miami I can take a specific course on something that was barely touched upon when I was in 11th and 12th grade. I am interested in the human body, anatomy, and physiology, but freshman year at Miami involved general topics in biology and chemistry.

"Now, as a senior, my coursework has become really deep as I take more specific courses on things like cell biology or ecology. We'd covered those topics in my freshman year bio courses, but I've really enjoyed being able to dive into the finer points. While that may scare some people, these topics are what made me interested in biology and becoming a doctor in the first place!"

Participating on Medical Brigades and Practicing Spanish in Nicaragua

Sammi discusses her trip in January 2016 on the Nicaragua Medical Immersion program led by Nohelia Rojas-Miesse, senior lecturer of Spanish.

An Eye-Opening Experience Video Transcript

Advice to Students

"It's never too late to figure out what you want to study. You often hear about people who wanted to be doctors since they were 5 years old, but throughout most of my childhood I never knew what I wanted to do. If, like me, you're thinking of going into medicine, it is great to try to do a lot of shadowing. I do that with any doctor — or anyone involved in the healthcare profession — who will take me! Doing this always makes me really excited about my future and reaffirms that I want to help people.

"Don't hesitate when making decisions to pursue opportunities. Miami offers a lot that many schools don't have. When I'm deciding to take advantage of opportunities, such as my trip to Nicaragua, I always think about how I may not have such chances again in my life. Miami is a great place to be. At first it may seem that 4 years is a long time, but sitting as a senior right now, I am here to tell you it is not. It goes by very quickly, so enjoy it while it lasts!"

[January 2018]