Meghan McHale

Meghan McHale

Prior Education: Colgate University
Hometown: Chagrin Falls, OH
Major: Cellular Neuroscience

Why I chose PRIME at CWRU
One of the main reasons I chose PRIME is because it is a non-degree certificate program, which is different than Master’s programs because PRIME students can take undergraduate level courses that can improve their undergraduate GPA. The PRIME program gives people like me, who come to decide on medical school later, the opportunity to complete premedical coursework at a University renowned for its education in science and medicine. I finished the PRIME program fully prepared academically to apply to medical school. 

I envision a career where I can practice medicine and integrate research in a way that impacts the care I give to patients. The PRIME program allowed me to prepare for medical school with this goal in mind because the directors and advisors are committed to helping each student create an individualized education plan that will lead to their success. When I applied to PRIME, I had just started a position working in a cardiovascular research lab at the Cleveland Clinic. Working with Dr. Thompson, we came up with a part-time academic schedule that both prepared me for medical school and allowed me to maintain my commitment to my research lab. Last summer, I also had the unique opportunity to conduct research in my lab as part of an independent study. I am grateful for the individual support and advising offered in the PRIME program. 

Why I recommend PRIME
The PRIME program is suited for a wide variety of students with different needs. In addition to personalized academics, PRIME prepares students for medical school holistically, addressing the various components of the medical school application. We had biweekly group meetings with Anthony, our program director, where we discussed our individual progress and offered advice and support to each other. We also addressed different aspects of the application process such as the personal statement, secondary essays, and interviews including a mock Multiple Mini Interview (MMI). The PRIME faculty are truly engaged with each of us and create a supportive environment and group dynamic that benefits the progress and growth of everyone.

My favorite educational experiences during PRIME were the two Clinical Inquiry courses, which are case-based and emulate the Problem Based Learning (PBL) style of the CWRU School of Medicine IQ courses. We covered biomedical science topics relevant to the MCAT and rather than studying areas like physics and chemistry as isolated topics, we examined content as it related to systems and specific diseases within patient cases. Applying topics to something meaningful in this way allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the material. PRIME gave me the room to start creating the research-integrated medical career I want for myself now. I applied to medical school and am now looking forward to seeing what happens next!