Even before the day the doors opened, Ariana Ellis was a force behind the Student Outreach to Area Residents (SOAR) student-run free clinic. What started as a vision for NEOMED students before her quickly become a second home for this dedicated third-year student in the College of Medicine.
It all started when Ellis wanted to “do something productive” between her first and second year of medical school. She signed on for Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) through AmeriCorps. With high hopes for helping the underserved, Ellis spent her summer organizing and marketing the opening of SOAR in fall 2016.
Today, the SOAR student-run free clinic is a special place where faculty and students from both medicine and pharmacy can foster interprofessional relationships, says Ellis. Not only has the Clinic has led Ellis to develop many meaningful relationships. It has also been a route for her—and other students—to apply clinical knowledge learned in the classroom to real-life patients.
“I’m proud to be part of a community that focuses on health care in Northeast Ohio…It’s been a humbling experience to be able to help the people in our area,” says Ellis.
Looking forward to completing her third year of medical school and seeing what her peers choose as medical specialties excites Ellis. In the process of finding her own preferred specialty, Ellis notes, “During our third year, we’re kind of thrown into different specialties all over Ohio and I think that’s really awesome that NEOMED allows that.”
What’s next? With the freedom to explore and find her own niche in medicine, she will soon travel to Philadelphia to shadow a genetic counselor, as one of her upcoming rotations. She won’t know till she does it if the field is right for her—but she’s excited for the ride.