Samantha Steinhall

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I truthfully would not have been able to apply to medical school when I did if it weren't for AAMC's FAP and therefore, I wouldn't be enjoying my first term of med school like I am now. As such, I am immensely grateful for the enormous opportunity and privilege this program has afforded me.

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Samantha Steinhall

Medical School: Rush Medical College
Expected Graduation Year: 2024
Undergraduate Institution: Cornell University
Major: Nutritional Sciences

Why I’m becoming a doctor

Growing up in a low-income, predominantly Hispanic community, I hadn't perceived becoming a physician as something even within the realm of possibilities for me. However, upon participating in Cornell's Urban Semester Program, a semester-long program junior year of college that entailed shadowing for the very first time, medical anthropology seminars, and community engagement, I found myself struck by the U.S. health inequities and the institutionalized discrimination that underlies them. Although I had witnessed the manifestation of such inequities in my own community growing up, it was not until then that I felt inclined and empowered to care for individuals that have been perpetually systemically burdened to the extent that their health suffers, only further contributing to their difficulty attaining stability. Thus, my desire to become a physician is rooted in making patients feel wholly seen, heard, and thereby empowered to affect something so fundamental to their quality of life— their health.

At this time, I'm very much openminded as to what specialty I'd like to practice! I am intrigued by Internal Medicine, as it seems to provide a clear venue for addressing health inequities in a high acuity setting. I am also excited to explore Pediatrics and Ob/Gyn!

My experience with the AAMC Fee Assistance Program

I used the following benefits during my premed journey: 

I was lucky enough to come across a flyer for the AAMC Fee Assistance Program in my undergraduate's Pre-Health Advising office and I applied before studying for the MCAT! I used the reduced the MCAT exam registration only once. I really benefitted from the official MCAT practice products, specifically the question banks and full-length practice tests!

I repeatedly used MSAR throughout the application cycle. It helped me create a list of schools to apply to that was most suitable to my desires and strengths. I was a first-time applicant and applied to 23 schools. I personally paid to add on three extra schools since the Fee Assistance Program covers 20 school designations. 

I truly feel that all of the Fee Assistance Program benefits were instrumental to my acceptance to medical school, but I would say the waived AMCAS fees benefit was most impactful. If I had not been privy to this benefit, I would not have been able to apply in the first place. Also, I automatically received waived secondary fees for all of the schools I applied to, except for one!

Advice to future applicants

Don't hesitate to contact the Fee Assistance Program for assistance! When I filled out the application initially, I made a mistake that the Fee Assistance Program support team quickly and kindly sorted out for me.

Apply early in order to utilize the benefits throughout the entire process! I had encountered some fellow low-income premeds who were unaware of the program until after they had already taken the MCAT and purchased access to the MSAR, and they felt that they could've had significantly benefitted from these resources' costs being waived.

These students’ testimonials were selected because they represent diverse stories. The views expressed herein are those of the students and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the AAMC.

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