Inter-College Program Student Profile
Name: Megan Reinhard
Anticipated Graduation Year: 2018
Major: Three Area BS in Psychology, Lifescience, and Family Social Science
How and why did you choose your major?
I chose my major in kind of a round about way. i have known I want to go into the medical field since I was 6 years old, and science was always something I excelled in so it simply made sense to me to have a science major in order to pursue medical school down the road. However, after repeatedly filling my semesters with nothing but hard science classes I started to dread my semesters. I realized my passion, while still medical, was in helping people, not solely in laboratory research. I had been pursuing a psychology minor at that time, and heard about ICP by a student with a Family Social Science major--classes I was always intrigued by as I grew up with a social worker mom. I looked more into ICP as well as the Family Social Science courses, and I realized I had found three areas I was in love with that fit so well for my goals. Medicine is more than a diagnosis and treatment plan. The social and psychological sides of medicine are equally as important as the biological side and it is impossible to have one aspect completely separate from the others. The more I learn in these courses, the more I am able to see the ever present connection.
Please give a description (in your words) of your major including the things you learn, favorite classes, and any challenges you have faced.
I guess the best way to describe what I am learning is to say a little bit of everything. I am taking MCAT preparatory courses like organic chemistry and physics, but I am also taking fascinating interest based classes like neuroscience and physiology. I also am taking courses in the varying branches associated with the clinical side of psychology including developmental psychology and abnormal psychology. The classes I am focusing on in my family social science part of my major are heavily centered around familial interaction and the way those interactions influence health. For example, I recently worked on some research regarding the influence of childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences on the likelihood of that child developing a drug addiction later in life. The biggest challenge I faced was narrowing down all the classes I wanted to take. This program has given me so much freedom to explore my options, and it made me really think critically about what I believed I would take away from the classes.
What types of experiences outside of the classroom have you had relating to your major? (i.e. clubs, jobs, internships, volunteering, study abroad etc.)
Outside of the classroom I am involved in the premed AMSA group and I volunteer at Ronald McDonald House. I also am actively involved in the United Way both here in the Twin Cities and back in my home community in Wisconsin. I am an intern for my county coroner and assist in death calls and autopsies as well as learn about the grieving processes that surrounds death. My current job is a laboratory assistant in the clinical pathology lab of the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center, and I am pursuing research along side a pediatric infectious disease physician regarding the presentation of bacterial arthritis in children.
In your opinion, what is one thing, or one piece of advice that other students pursuing your major should know?
I think its important to know that ICP does not let you bypass all the rules for majors, and that the proposal itself does require a good chunk of time and commitment to complete, but once that is done I guarantee that you will have created a major that is perfectly tailored to you and that you are excited about pursuing. I've very proud of the major I created for myself, and I promise you will be too. The extra work in the beginning is absolutely worth it. You should be passionate about what you are studying, and ICP helps you think critically about the reasons behind your passions, only strengthening them further.