Giridhar Murali; University of Connecticut class of 2021; Major: Molecular and Cell biology; Minor: Anthropology; Medical College of Wisconsin--Central Wisconsin MD program class of 2027
To read more about Medical College of Wisconsin -- Central Wisconsin, click here

Why did you choose to pursue a career in healthcare?

I had the chance to work with underserved patients in my hometown, and realized how limited access to healthcare was where I lived and difficulties with navigating the system. I wanted to find a way to alleviate this and care for the people that once cared for me, so that is what inspired me to pursue this career.

What are some meaningful extracurricular activities that you were involved in while at UConn?

Research—researched in the field of virology for four years during undergrad, concerning the virus EV 71 which causes Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. My research culminated in two poster presentations (at UConn and Frank Netter Medical School), one publication through Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and my honors thesis at UConn.
UConn Chess Team—represented UConn at chess tournaments in the New England area and was an active member of the club. Currently, I am also teaching chess as well so have taken my playing abilities to a teaching avenue as well.
Elder Horizons—volunteered with geriatric patients at YNHH every weekend and during the summers.
EMT—volunteered as an EMT during my four years of undergrad. I am CT state certified and NREMT certified as well.

What did you do during your growth year(s) and what did you learn?

I worked for one year as a COVID-19 Pharmacovigilance Clinical Specialist in helping to record adverse side effects of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine. Gained vital clinical experience and scribing experience all while applying to medical school.

What are some ways that you take care of your mental health and overall wellbeing?

Take time for yourself, do things outside of studying and classes to help boost mental health. Everything will work out in the end, and everything happens for a reason!

What advice do you have for aspiring pre-health students?

I recommend journaling experiences as much as you can, it really helps with writing stories and sharing anecdotes during interviews. Some of my answers were based on events that happened five+ years ago, and journaling really helped jog my memory about these experiences.

What’s something that you wish you knew when you were in college?

Really enjoy it, it goes by so fast. Also try different studying methods when the stakes are lower as I have found my studying in undergrad to be totally different than now in medical school.