Dr. Sandea Greene-Harris, of Southern Crescent Neurosurgery and Spine, and Mary Hudachek-Buswell, Clayton State University WI2STEM (Women Interested In Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) faculty advisor, have set in motion a physician shadowing opportunity for three Clayton State pre-med students; Philomise Moncion, Naveen Hassin, and LeTisha McClerklin.
“Physician shadowing provides the student with clinical exposure to patients and physicians, allows students to see what medicine is like on a day to day basis, and for them to discover if medicine is where they want to be,” says Hudachek-Buswell.
Greene-Harris originally spoke to Clayton State students in the fall. During her presentation she informed the students that physician shadowing is essential for any student pursuing a medical degree. While Clayton State does not have an official shadow program in place for pre-med students, the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine, as well as many other medical schools, requires shadowing experience for admissions. These shadowing experiences are discussed at length during medical school admissions interviews.
Greene-Harris has offered to mentor these three young women, and will have them attend the semimonthly conferences with her, and Moncion, Hassin and McClerklin attended their first cancer conference held at Southern Regional Medical Center (SRMC) on Friday, Feb.12. The conferences have several physicians, pathologists and surgeons present cases in common, and discuss treatment options. The Clayton State students must review anatomy and diseases that affect that region of the anatomy prior to attending, as well as, a journal on their shadowing experiences. Hudachek-Buswell meets regularly with these young women and examines their preparatory work.
First generation, minority college students face unique challenges that mitigate their success in higher education, says Hudachek-Buswell.
“To overcome those obstacles, these students need academic advice, emotional support, and academic-social integration,” she adds. “Therefore, it was imperative that WI2STEM and Dr. Greene-Harris provide the students with this rewarding professional opportunity. The major objectives of WI2STEM are to present women, and all Clayton State students, with academic-professional interactions, motivational experiences, and academic affirming events that assist them towards realizing their full potential.
Since its formation in 2009, WI2STEM has grown and continued to take on more initiatives with the full support of Dean of the College of Information and Mathematical Sciences, Dr. Lila Roberts. Drs. Yvette Gardner, Catherine Matos and Susan Hornbuckle are also active faculty members and supporters in the WI2STEM organization.
Moncion was born in New York City, and is a resident of Stockbridge. She is the president of Wi2STEM, an ambassador for Clayton State University Orientation program, and a member of the local and national American Medical Students Association. She is a junior majoring in Biology with a focus in Pre-Med. Even with a part time job, and a busy life, she has found a way to keep herself on the Dean’s List and plans to stay there for the remainder of her studies.
“Wi2STEM is for women in science, and the opportunities ultimately lead them towards a bright future!” she says.
McClerklin is a senior at Clayton State University majoring in Integrative Studies with an area concentration in Biology. She is currently completing prerequisite courses for the Physician’s Assistant Program. A native of Columbia, S.C., McClerklin entered Clayton State in the spring of 2007 where she remains on the Dean’s List and continues to excel academically. A member of WI2STEM, she states that the key to success is preparation, dedication, and determination.
Hassin was born in New York City and is a resident of Riverdale. She is the vice president of WI2STEM and a junior majoring in biology, and minoring in chemistry with a focus in Pre-Med. She is currently in a research program in the natural sciences. She is also the secretary of the Muslim Students Association at Clayton State, a member of the National American Medical Students Association, a member of the Honors program, and a volunteer at Kids Avenue Pediatrics.
"WI2STEM is not just any ordinary club, it is an organization that is dedicated in providing women the opportunities and collaborations needed to make a difference in the world,” she says. “It is by far one of the greatest milestones for Clayton State University."
These three women of WI2STEM greatly appreciate the opportunity that has been handed to them, and they plan to take full advantage of it, says Hudachek-Buswell. This is a chance for them to learn more about the fields they plan to enter as well as provide them with an experience that would normally be out of reach.