Meet People who Help People

Students helping people help people
  • Peer support
  • Participation in health-related outreach trips
  • Research that adds value to the medical community
Faculty helping people help people
  • Close advising
  • Teaching the value of connecting with patients on a personal level
  • Research with pre-health students
Alumni helping people help people
  • Working in health professions
  • Mentoring pre-health students
  • Funding pre-health initiatives that improve the program

Alyssa Summers, Director of Pre-Health

Alyssa Summers

When Sewanee’s director of community engagement was having difficulty staffing efforts at local rural clinics, Biology Professor Alyssa Summers had an answer to his problem.

“I said, we have people! Why don’t we work together? So we started the clinic internships and we formalized it. It gave students another thing we could evaluate them for, and they were getting hands-on experience with patients.”

Central to her vision as she has helped to transform Sewanee’s pre-med committee to a full fledged Pre-Health Office has been that Sewanee’s pre-health education should be distinctly personal.

Summers’ ultimate goal is to produce health professionals that patients actually want to see—“health professionals you enjoy speaking with, who are intelligent, who you can have a conversation with.”

Hudson Robb, C'15, English, Pre-Med

Hudson Robb

During his internship at the Vanderbilt-Sewanee Undergraduate Research Experience (V-SURE), Hudson’s favorite doctors to shadow have been those who take the extra time to connect with their patients.

“It’s been inspiring to me to see doctors meet people where they are in conversations, even if the topics only loosely pertain to the patient’s medical issue.”

For Hudson, coming to understand people and how a doctor should relate to them has been as important as learning about innovative treatments. Central to understanding people is communicating with them..

“Sometimes what people really need is someone to listen to them, not talk at them and move on. I’ve been fortunate to see that happen during my time in V-SURE.”

Joe Delozier, C'77, P'15, M.D.

Joe Delozier

Joe DeLozier is a physician practicing in Nashville, Tenn. and one of the Pre-Health Program’s most devoted supporters. He sits on the Pre-Health Advisory Board and provides a summer internship for a pre-med student each year.

Over the past few years, Joe has worked closely with the director of the pre-health program, Associate Professor of Biology Alyssa Summers, to strengthen Sewanee’s Pre-Health Program.

“Alyssa is well respected among the faculty; she is innovative; she is a leader. And she has brought the pre-health path together.”

Joe believes that the directorship is a vital component of the Pre-Health Program and that securing that component will help ensure pre-health students' success, regardless of which area of health interests them.

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