Veronica Scott graduated with honors when she earned her bachelor's degree in economics but she knew that a future in business wasn't what she really wanted to do. So to prepare, she turned to Cal State Fullerton and its Pre-Health Professions Certificate program.
A business economics graduate who switched gears to pursue medicine is this year's recipient of Cal State Fullerton's Miles D. McCarthy Postbaccalaureate Award.
Even before she had earned her bachelor's degree, Veronica Scott from Riverside, CA, knew what she really wanted did not involve business lunches, a briefcase or spreadsheets.
"I majored in business economics because of the huge recession at the time," said Scott. "Riverside County was particularly impacted by the economic downturn, and I found it disheartening to watch families lose their homes and savings. I felt a strong need to understand what was happening as the recession was dramatically affecting the people in my community."
"Economics was an enriching experience, and I discovered my aptitude for scenario-based analysis and problem solving," she added. "Even though economics sometimes is deemed the 'dismal science,' I found comfort in knowing that most real-life situations are not black or white."
"Economics and medicine have many parallels because both subjects require looking at every case individually while applying fundamental principles to find a meaningful outcome," Scott explained.
While working on her undergraduate degree, she volunteered at the UC San Diego Medical Center and found herself hooked on a future in medicine. "I started looking for more interactive positions in a hospital. A friend from school mentioned medical scribing, and I found the opportunity to learn more about medicine."
Without a medical background, Scott had to quickly learn medical terminology and the charting system. Her dedication and perseverance led to being promoted to lead and then chief scribe, overseeing two hospital sites and 32 scribes.
"Being a scribe really pushed me to pursue medicine," she explained. Following completion of her B.A., Scott made the choice to enter Cal State Fullerton as a post-baccalaureate scholar.
"It was an amazing experience," she said about the Fullerton program. "And I would have never had the opportunity to go to medical school without the Pre-Health Professions Certificate program."
In addition to working as a medical scribe, Scott served as an educational and behavioral interventionist for special needs children and volunteered at a local animal shelter.
This fall, Scott will attend medical school at University of California, Riverside. "In the very distant future, I would like to be a part of Doctors Without Borders."
The Miles D. McCarthy Health Professions Post Baccalaureate Award is presented each spring in recognition of a student's high academic achievement, integrity and commitment to serve humanity. It is named to honor the late faculty member who was the architect of the University's Health Professions program.