Richard Wolferz; University of Connecticut class of 2015; Major: Biological Sciences, Physiology and Neurobiology; minor: Molecular and Cell Biology; Rutgers New Jersey Medical SChool MD Program class of 2020
To read more about Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, click here

Why did you choose to pursue a career in healthcare?

I was always interested in science, biology in particular. Coming to UConn I was unsure what I wanted to do for a career but I had the opportunity to work in both research and clinical settings and that is where I found my appreciation for medicine.

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

I started doing research the summer after my sophomore year in the Conover lab through the SURF program and it was such a meaningful experience I continued doing research in the same lab as a junior and senior. I had a chance to study brain injury through a mouse model and completed my honors thesis with Dr. Conover. Though I have moved away from bench research during my career in medicine, I would not be where I am today without that experience. I have gained such an appreciation for scientific research and continue use many of the skills during clinical research and quality improvement projects I do today in family medicine. As a Husky, I also volunteered with the Collegiate Health Service Corps (CHSC) through Community Outreach. The CHSC is where I solidified my interest in public health and want to continue working with underserved populations. I had the chance to visit migrant farm workers in Eastern Connecticut and provide them with health information related to their work, their lives, and their families. The gratitude we received made all the time worth it.

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

I was the president of RunUC (UConn Running) while in undergrad and have continued to run almost every day through medical school and now residency. Running allows me to blow off steam, reflect on the day, and most importantly connect with friends.

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

Explore your options and talk to the people who are doing what you aspire to do to better understand what their day-to-day looks like. I believe there are a lot of options for those who are interested in health and medicine and not always do you understand that until later down the road.

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

Don't hesitate to reach out to the professionals or pre-professionals who are doing what you are interested in. Yes they are busy, but often they are happy to talk with interested students and provide them with advice.