Jamie Stewart

  • BS Biochemistry (Miami University) 2018
  • University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences

How did being a Miami chemistry/biochemistry major help you enter medical school?

A degree in chemistry or biochemistry at Miami University offers a rigorous curriculum that prepared me for my studies outside of Miami. Biochemistry majors are required to take biology classes in addition to chemistry, so I felt that it allowed me to apply chemistry concepts in a biological setting. I experienced a positive collaboration with peers to facilitate and solidify learning. Faculty are supportive of students in many ways in their growth towards their future careers. They promote independent learning, cultivate strong leadership roles, and mentor students through the research experience. Diverse areas of research are available for students to participate in and apply concepts from coursework. As a biochemistry major, I felt that I was prepared for the MCAT because biochemistry content represents a large portion of material on the MCAT.

How does having been a Miami chemistry/biochemistry major help you currently in medical school?

The biochemistry major curriculum helped me transition into medical school. The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences’ curriculum follows a systems-based approach, and we have biochemistry/biological foundations as our first course in medical school. Biochemistry principles are the foundation for understanding human physiology and underlying diseases. There are many metabolic diseases that require a firm understanding of the biochemical pathways in order to treat them. The Miami professors used peer collaboration to facilitate learning, which is the approach that many medical schools use to allow students to become independent learners.

Any advice for those who would like to go to medical school or who are considering to choose certain majors?

As you are starting college, choose a major that you are interested in pursuing. Consider all career opportunities that you can pursue with your chosen major. You may start your undergraduate studies with the intent to pursue a career in medicine, and may find that your interests have shifted to another aspect of your major. For example, if you have a science major, you may want to pursue research instead of medicine. Enjoy the process of learning, especially if you continue in a science field, or in the field of medicine because as technology evolves you will have to adapt. Becoming an independent and life-long learner is important for scientists and physicians in order to deliver the best quality of care to patients.