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Zuccarelli works towards career in bilingual medicine

September 22, 2008

Britton Zuccarelli ’07 earned a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Kansas School of Medicine, and plans to eventually practice bilingual medicine with a specialization in adolescent medicine, family practice or pediatrics. As an undergraduate she majored in biochemistry and molecular biology and Spanish, with a minor in chemistry.

Britton Zuccarrelli

Britton Zuccarrelli: "I truly feel that my Cornell education prepared me tremendously for my post-graduate studies...While I clearly had a number of special experiences at Cornell, I think it's fair to say that my experience is not much unlike many other Cornell College students."

How was your first year of med school?
I absolutely love it! We study one organ system per month, and Cornell’s block plan prepared me more than adequately for this type of learning environment. I also volunteer twice a month at a free, student-run health clinic in Kansas City, where I work as a student physician. And once a month I volunteer as a student physician at a bilingual clinic that serves the uninsured population of Kansas City. This summer I have an internship with the Planned Parenthood of Kansas City.

Did you feel well-prepared by Cornell?
I truly feel that my Cornell education prepared me tremendously for my post-graduate studies. Medical school involves high volumes of knowledge that must be absorbed quickly and regurgitated immediately. Thankfully, Cornell’s One Course At A Time system trained my mind to work diligently each day for a month and carry this knowledge across courses. While many of my classmates at KU found it difficult to adjust to KU’s “module” system, I adjusted without a hitch.

What was best about studying biology at Cornell?
The small class sizes, especially in laboratory sessions. As a medical student, I am responsible for actively participating in human dissection sessions, but this was nothing new to me since I had already taken two cadaver courses at Cornell. I especially enjoy being able to reflect upon my interactions with peers and professors at Cornell, in which we exchanged ideas and worked together towards a common goal in laboratory sessions.¬† Many of my medical school counterparts regret only being an “ID number” to some of their professors, since their average class size in biology was often 300-400 students.

What other Cornell experiences were most meaningful?
I was fortunate enough to have a variety of research, internship and off-campus study opportunities. During my freshman year, I traveled to Mexico for one month to study Spanish. As a sophomore, I studied abroad in Bolivia for a semester to finish my Spanish major. During the summer of my sophomore year, I did research in Jeff Cardon’s microbiology laboratory and completed an internship with Proteus, a mobile health clinic serving the migrant farm worker populations across Iowa.

My junior year included a trip to Nicaragua, when I volunteered with Operation Walk. That summer, I had an internship at the University of Chicago Center for Molecular Oncology doing research. While I clearly had a number of special experiences at Cornell, I think it’s fair to say that my experience is not much unlike many other Cornell¬†students.

For more information, please contact Cornell's Director of Media Relations

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