Sophia Rafferty

  • BS Biochemistry (Miami University), 2018
  • Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

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

As a biochemistry major at Miami University, I learned how to interpret and understand complex concepts; instead of memorizing material, I was learning the chemistry behind how our world functions. Developing this strong chemistry background assisted me greatly while studying for the chemistry sections on the MCAT, as I was focusing on reviewing the material instead of learning the content for the first time. I formed strong connections with my peers in the biochemistry department which provided me with support and assistance when I applied to medical school. Speaking with my colleagues who had already applied to medical school about their successful study habits and how to tackle the medical school application, provided me with a deeper insight into the process and alleviated some of the stress of the extensive application.

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

Upon entering medical school, every student experiences a learning curve where study habits must be modified to adequately learn the increased volume of material that is covered every day. The rigorous biochemistry curriculum at Miami University helped me prepare for this adjustment, as I developed successful studying techniques and understood how to rely on my peers for help and support with academics. Learning pharmacology in medical school has been less overwhelming since the chemistry/biochemistry classes at Miami University have made me comfortable with drawing out the mechanism of action of various drugs. Multiple chemistry classes at Miami University stressed the concept of structure determines function, which has assisted me in being able to quickly grasp why and where each drug works in the body and understand why the patient may experience specific side effects from use of the medication.

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

My advice for a student interested in attending medical school is to choose a major based on courses that overlap with the premed requirements. The chemistry and biochemistry majors at Miami University fulfill this, allowing students to take other courses such as Human Anatomy and Physiology or Neuroscience in the third or fourth year. While not required, these courses provide the students with challenging material that prepares them for the fast pace of medical school. Additionally, having already been introduced to various topics helps make medical school less daunting since students have already been introduced to higher level topics. Creating a strong foundation in chemistry/biochemistry helps the student build their knowledge to be successful in medical school.