My name is Ashish Chaddha and I am currently in my first year of internal medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. I was born in New York City and we moved to the greater Detroit area when I was 7 years old, ultimately settling in Troy, Michigan. I did both my undergraduate and medical school at the University of Michigan. I feel very blessed and grateful to have known about the Health Sciences Scholars Program when I applied to UM for undergrad, and even more fortunate to have been accepted. I still remember my HSSP days as if they were only yesterday.
What I liked most about HSSP was that, even though UM is such a big institution with so many students, HSSP had a community feel where I felt as if I knew everyone and that I always had guidance, both from the program leadership, the pre-health counselor Joyce Sutton, and the sophomores at the time who were peer advisors and mentors to the incoming freshmen. HSSP allowed me to transition smoothly from high school to college, which, looking back, was very important in ultimately getting accepted to medical school. I remember during my first few weeks on campus the sophomores on my floor answered every single question I had regarding classes and how to succeed academically. They even helped me move my stuff into the dorms!
I also made some of my best and closest friends in HSSP. I went on to be roommates with them both as an upper classmen and also during medical school. We also did a lot of fun events with the entire HSSP community, and one of my favorite events was when we all went to go play laser tag. I liked HSSP so much that I came back as a peer advisor for my sophomore year, and my advisee from that time has also become one of my best friends.
I have kept in touch with Joyce ever since I have known her. She is a very caring person who is a tremendous resource for students wishing to pursue the pre-health track. Joyce was instrumental in helping me make key decisions, from what classes to take, when to take them, and how to have a solid application to medical school. I don't think I would have gotten into Michigan Medical School without the help of HSSP and Joyce. In fact, somethingI still think about today is how lucky I was to be in HSSP, for all of the opportunities it gave me, and I don't think I would have had as much success as I have without the resources and opportunities given to me through HSSP.
I also liked the exposure that HSSP provided me regarding the different health care fields. During my freshman year, I enjoyed listening to doctors who spoke to us and shared their experiences. I also found it valuable to have the opportunity to shadow doctors. This exposure further solidified my desire to pursue medicine, and was instrumental in helping me find mentors.