by Zoe Musselman
Next year, Raquel Lopez ’19, who graduated this May, will pursue her Doctor of Medicine degree at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. Chestnut Hill College recently spoke with Lopez to learn how she decided she wanted to study in the Caribbean as well as what her plans are for the future.
CHC: How do you think CHC prepared you for medical school?
Lopez: As a student-athlete at Chestnut Hill College, I think that the demand from my sport and academic work really forced me to learn how to organize my priorities. This is something that will definitely carry me a long way when I go to med school because of how intense it is. Chestnut Hill College also taught me how to use the resources around me. There are so many opportunities here for students to excel academically and also to network for future endeavors.
Why did you choose to go to medical school in the Caribbean?
I wanted to explore every opportunity I could to achieve my dream of becoming a doctor. Both my parents attended medical school in the Dominican Republic, so a school overseas was always on my list.
What do you specifically want to study in medical school?
In med school, I will basically be studying several concepts within each organ system in the body and then go into a clinical program where I will have more hands-on learning. After my four years of med school, I hope to specialize in sports medicine or cardiology.
What are your career goals?
One day I would like to have my own private practice or work with a sports team, either professional or non-professional.
What are some of your favorite memories from your time CHC?
Freshman year preseason because I was a new recruit competing at a higher level, but also working with a new team. Another memory from freshman year was when my friends and I were exploring the campus and discovered the summerhouse. We played music there the whole night and talked about our lives.
Sophomore year my suitemates and I tried on our formal dresses together, and two of my suitemates got locked out of their room and had to go down to security to get the door unlocked.
In my senior year, my friends and I pulled an all-nighter, which was a first for me. We were hyped up on Wawa coffee and pizza from Tonelli’s, trying to finish a literature review for research methods. As we were leaving, we saw our professor coming into St. Joseph Hall and ran to hide so she wouldn’t see us. This night is also the reason why I don’t drink coffee anymore!
What are you looking forward to most about studying in the Caribbean?
I am extremely excited to be able to be in a completely new country. I can’t wait to experience the new culture of whichever island I choose to attend school on. The beautiful beaches will definitely be tough to resist when I need to focus on studying, but I’m excited to challenge myself and make new memories.