By: Jorge A. Hernández Vega
Being a student is very hard, from keeping up with university assignments, to studying for midterms and tests, especially those who are studying medicine; there is a reason why a career in medicine takes approximately 10 years to finish. Most of these students after spending 4 to 6 years here in University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez campus (UPRM) move on to graduate school (grad school). Those who have tried to apply to a grad school know it is not easy getting in. Not only do you need a good Grade Point Average (GPA) but you also need a substantial amount of extracurricular activities. This is where “El Circulo de Pre-Médicos” (CPM) comes into play.
The CPM is an outstanding and exclusive organization, that is run by a student body composed of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Historian and Treasurer, where people studying pre-medicine, biology, and health related sciences can be around other scholars of their majors. Their fundamental purposes and goals are to guide students who are genuinely interested in studying medicine and paramedic sciences, promote educational activities that benefit and stimulate the students in general and build union, trust and partnership amongst their members. To reach these goals, they organize various activities such as visits to medical centers and institutions, conferences held by professionals, such as Doctors or Specialists, where students can directly talk to them and ask them questions about how they got there or advice to help them achieve what they want.
“We want our members to feel comfortable here and build friendships that will last lifetimes. We aren’t just an organization for people who are studying medicine, not only do we welcome people from other majors, but we want students to feel at home here. Why? Because we hope that most of them stay a member of our organization for the time they are studying here in UPRM, so we don’t want people to feel this group as a weight on their shoulders.” said Keishla Cotto, secretary of the CPM.
They have meetings every Tuesday where they discuss upcoming events or have small activities anyone can attend; this helps people who are interested in joining see what the organization is all about. If you are new to the CPM you are a member, but not an official member. To be an official member or “initiated” as they say, you need to accumulate 65% of the total points. How this works is that each activity the organization holds throughout the year is worth a certain amount of points, so by the end of the year you should have 65% or more of these points accumulated. For example, each of the meetings they hold Tuesdays are worth 2 points.
This is the perfect association for people who are looking to get into a med-school. Not only do they offer a substantial amount of extracurricular activities on the subject of medicine, but they also show the determination and responsibility that these students have. This organization is well known and well held in various Medical Schools. What also makes this a great association is that it’s not, as they say, all work and no play. The CPM holds a lot of different activities that are meant for the sole purpose of relaxing and having fun; for example from Friday, October 21 to Sunday, October 23 the CPM held a camping trip in Adjuntas were members could go and relax in the woods, and take some of the stress they have, off their shoulders.
“I have only been here for 2 years but I can honestly say that I’m here to stay. Not only are the activities extremely entertaining yet at the same time educational, but the company of the other students is great.” said Marlys Massini second year Biology student/member of the CPM.