Jerry Gargano; UConn Post-Bacc Program completed spring 2019; University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine DMD Program class of 2024
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Why did you choose to pursue a career in healthcare?

I liked the idea of creating long lasting relationships with patients and being able to see them on a regular basis and help them achieve their oral healthcare goals.

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

Mission of Mercy dental clinic, Varsity swim team, and Pre-Dental Society.

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

Worked as a receptionist in a dental clinic. This helped me learn the logistics of a private healthcare practice, it gave me respect for the workers at the front office and enabled me how to manage relationships with patients in a non-clinical setting.

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

Exercise, taking time for personal well-being such as social activities with friends. Knowing when to take a break from studying. Separating academic life from social life. This can be as simple as taking a Sunday evening or afternoon to relax and cook a nice meal for yourself.

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

Don't put too much pressure on yourself if you don't do as well on an exam as you thought you would. There are many opportunities to make up for a few bad exams such as extracurricular activities and other exams that you will take later in the semester. If you did not get the grade you were hoping for in a class at the end of the semester, there are opportunities to retake the class or prove to admissions offices that you are strong in a particular area by doing well on that particular section in the DAT or MCAT. GPA is important in gaining admissions, but it will not make or break your application if you can make up for a slightly lower than average GPA in other areas. Network with your professors and really get close to faculty. They will guide you to your goals!

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

I wish I wasn't so scared to change my major early on or seek advice on changing my career path if I was not interested in the coursework for my particular major.