Embracing the NEOMED Community: Pallavi Sharma

It’s not easy for third-year College of Medicine student Pallavi Sharma to name what she likes best about NEOMED.

“Let’s see—I would say my favorite experience has been working at the SOAR Student-Run Free Clinic—NEOMED’s first such clinic, which was recently named Free Clinic of the Year by the Ohio Association of Free Clinics,’’ says Sharma.

“The Clinic has grown tremendously from when I was first involved my first year. The team of students that started it was just amazing. We started off with two patients on our first clinic day in September 2016 and now we’re up to anywhere from 20 to 25 patients each day. We have been to the Society of Student Run Free Clinics Conference for two consecutive years now, and SOAR’s name has truly spread across America!’’ she says.

Or maybe it’s the comfort of a community where, Sharma says, “If I’m struggling with something, I can go to my classmates or faculty members and really ask them for help and get guidance.’’ 

Of course, it could be the humanities classes, like the Reflective Practice group where Sharma and her classmates can have “the hard conversations that you don’t experience in day-to-day life’’—conversations that help her to process the sadness of patients in a busy hospital where “it’s hard to really center and remember those values that you learned the first two years of medicine.’’

Sharma appreciates the chance NEOMED’s Human Values in Medicine curriculum has offered her to learn about aspects of providing health care that aren’t technical skills. “You learn how to talk to people, you learn how to be compassionate, you learn how to really interact with the community at another level. I think that’s super valuable.’’

But don’t leave out being on a nationally known dance team, or in the Musicians in Medicine student organization—or running a Global Health Week. “The first day, we would just have people come and pin on a map where they’re from in the world. NEOMED is big on diversity, so it was really great to see where everyone’s origins are—and not just their origins, but their parents’ origins,’’ remembers Sharma.

Maybe the best thing is that there are so many good things, it’s hard to choose.

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