background image
WINTER 2013-2014
St. Bonaventure has several avenues for students to pursue a medical career, including the very competitive combined-degree
programs in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and physical therapy. We checked in with several grads to see what's next on their
path to becoming a doctor. Pictured above are (from left) Michelle Spears, Priya Singhal and Kevin Okapal.
"You stay with the same
group of people throughout.
You're not competing with
each other; you're helping
each other out, giving each
other study tips and guides
and it allows you to kind of
be relaxed more ... because
you're not worried about ap-
plying to medical school and
taking the MCAT and com-
peting with other students,"
explained Spears.
The added bonus was en-
tering George Washington
with her SBU classmates.
"My transition from under-
grad to medical school was
quite easy because there
were eight of us coming in
together as part of the pro-
gram, so we were familiar
with each other and we were
able to rely on each other, so
that made the transition very
As a fourth-year medical student at
the George Washington University
School of Medicine and Health Sci-
ences, Michelle Spears is preparing for
her next big step.
"I've decided that I want to pursue
anesthesiology after medical school, so
right now I've made all my applications
to residency programs and I'm sched-
uling interviews for residency programs
all throughout the country and now
I'm just waiting," she said.
With her medical board exams under
her belt, Spears is looking forward to
completing her final year of medical
"I'm excited to take what I have
learned in medical school and under-
grad and now apply it in the real world
and have the real responsibility to take
care of patients and help them," she
For her, St. Bonaventure's combined-
degree program was a great opportu-
nity to fully enjoy college while also
being prepared for GW. Having a guar-
anteed spot at medical school allowed
her, as an undergraduate, to "enjoy
the college experience and do a lot of
extracurricular activities."
Priya Singhal hasn't decided
which field of medicine to pur-
sue once she completes her
M.D. at George Washington
School of Medicine and Health
Sciences. For now, the third-
year medical student is soaking
up the experiences of clinical ro-
tations from OB/GYN to pedi-
atrics and psychiatry in the
nation's capital.
"I'm not quite sure what I
want to go into as of this point,
but so far what I've seen I've
loved. At this point it's gather-
ing all the experiences that you
can, getting your feet wet in all
aspects of medicine, and kind
of figuring out where you see
yourself in the future," she said.
Singhal felt that she was well
prepared for the rigors of med-
ical school. "In terms of acade-
mia, Bonaventure really
provided a solid foundation for
coming into medical school, es-
pecially during the first year,
which was so important be-
cause medical school builds on
itself, so having that solid foun-
Class Year:
Allegany, N.Y.
Class Year:
Business Administration
Williamsville, N.Y.
dation to begin with was just
wonderful," she said.
As an undergrad, she partici-
pated in the clinical experience
at Olean General Hospital.
"The Olean General Hospital
program was good because it
gave you ... a glance into what
it's like to be in the hospitals,
to follow with round attend-
ings, to interact with different
patients. When you get to
medical school it's kind of that
times a thousand, but it's defi-
nitely a good glimpse into
what it's like later on," said
St. Bonaventure's pre-med
program didn't deter her from
"doing anything else I wanted
to do" as a college student.
"Even being a science major I
was able to pick up a minor and
travel abroad and do a lot of ex-
tracurricular activities."