Postbac Student Profiles

Hear Their Stories

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Ronak Ahir

Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Jefferson University
BS in Business Administration

Ronak came to medicine from a background in business and analytics. Motivated in part to assist with his family’s small business, Ronak attended the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, followed by holding a prestigious job in Silicon Valley for several years. During this time, he volunteered regularly with the San Francisco Education Fund’s College and Career Readiness Program, tutoring underperforming students from under-resourced high schools. Contemplating the impact a family physician had had on him and his family, Ronak began volunteering with Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Clara, where his interest in medicine solidified. He then quit his Silicon Valley job and signed on as a scribe at a hand and plastic surgery practice.

During his year at Bryn Mawr, outside of class, Ronak volunteered at Lankenau Hospital, a nearby community hospital, in the Emergency Department. He was also one of two postbac representatives on the College Honor Board. For his glide year, Ronak accepted a prestigious fellowship with the Carol Buck Breast Cancer Center at the University of California-San Francisco.


Alejandro Chavez

University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
BS in Computer Science

Alejandro grew up in Simi Valley, California, and as a student at Stanford he focused on computer science both inside and outside the classroom. Alejandro’s interest in medicine was sparked after college, when he took a job as a software engineer supporting a Guatemalan community health program sponsored by Stanford University School of Medicine and the Central American Healthcare Initiative. He was in this role for four years, working closely with a local doctor and community health workers to provide improved healthcare to rural residents through technology; his main role was to design applications that help community health workers implement nutritional monitoring of young children. 

During his year at Bryn Mawr, Alejandro volunteered with the free clinic Community Volunteers in Medicine, serving as a Spanish-language interpreter and providing technological assistance as needed. He also organized a Skype session with the physician and community health workers he had worked with in Guatemala as part of our “Global Health” Health Interest Programming. Outside of class and volunteering, Alejandro enjoyed making use of the outstanding campus fitness facilities, including participating in weekly pick-up basketball games with classmates and faculty. In his glide year, he returned to Guatemala to provide continued support to the community he had become a part of prior to doing his postbac studies.

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Desmond Garner

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
BA in Economics

From a small town in Alabama, Desmond explored varying interests as an undergraduate student at Vanderbilt, including studying Economics, Chinese and Spanish languages, studying abroad, serving as a Resident Advisor for several years, and joining the historically black Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. Following graduation, Desmond moved to Houston, where he worked as a consultant with a focus on healthcare. A work project on managing diabetes sparked his interest in medicine, as he connected this work with the experiences of family members with type 1 diabetes. A relationship with a black physician who helped him tackle weight challenges was also impactful and deepened his interest in making a career change.

During his postbac year, Desmond volunteered in the Emergency Department of Bryn Mawr Hospital and served as a co-coordinator of our Health Disparities Health Interest Programming. After the year at Bryn Mawr, Desmond moved to Houston to work with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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Eileen Lee

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
BSE in Operations Research and Financial Engineering

Eileen engaged with healthcare on the edges of medicine for some time prior to coming to Bryn Mawr to complete her premed coursework. As an undergraduate, she focused on data sciences and healthcare systems. Her activities as an undergraduate included serving as an officer of the Korean American Student Association, as a peer tutor in statistics, and as an elected member of University Student Government. Following graduation, Eileen launched a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, where she found herself increasingly curious to know more about disease progression and the experiences of physicians working directly with patients. She volunteered in several hospital settings prior to coming to Bryn Mawr.

At Bryn Mawr, Eileen was co-chair of the student Sports Committee and rallied her classmates to join an adult soccer league in Philadelphia; she also served as a peer tutor for Organic Chemistry. She volunteered weekly with Prevention Point Philadelphia, a harm reduction non-profit organization. During her glide year, Eileen served as Peer Instructor for Organic and Biological Organic Chemistry.

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Dana Stuehling

University of Rochester School of Medicine
BA in Sociology

Dana had a longstanding commitment to social justice dating back to high school. While she considered medicine many times over the years, her commitment to affecting societal change had her focus on Sociology, Feminist, and African American Studies in college. Given the depth of her interests in these topics, she hesitated to devote herself to the study of premedical sciences in college. Following her time in college, she spent a number of years working in the rural US on sexual health education, HIV prevention, and LGBTQ inclusion, and found this work quite meaningful. However, she kept coming back to medicine with the goal of being able to be more impactful at both the individual and societal levels. At this point, Dana was ready to dive into the study of premedical sciences to build the foundation for her career in medicine.

During her year at Bryn Mawr, Dana volunteered regularly at a free clinic in the area. She also served as a co-coordinator for the Women’s Health Interest Programming and helped to organize the campus visit of a speaker addressing maternal healthcare in the Philadelphia prison system.