Make The Connection

April 24, 2018 | By Gopika Nair ’18

Cara Harris ’18 observes physicians in Uruguay as she explores the impact of neuroscience, one of her majors, on overall patient health. Harris plans to attend medical school to become a surgeon. (Photo courtesy of Cara Harris)

Medicine in Montevideo

OWU Connection Experience Shows Senior ‘My Future in the Medical Field is a Real One’

Name: Cara Harris ’18

Majors: Neuroscience and Psychology

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Experience: Theory-to-Practice Grant, “The Atlantis Project”

Harris spent a month in Montevideo, Uruguay, shadowing physicians in a public hospital. The departments she shadowed included neurosurgery, internal medicine, anesthesiology, and general surgery. Harris used The OWU Connection experience to explore the impact of neuroscience on every aspect of a patient’s health.

Lessons learned 

“Academically, this TPG (Theory-to-Practice Grant) experience has reinforced the knowledge that I have gained in the classroom. ... I was able to directly apply classroom knowledge to the experience on a daily basis. Also, I got to cultivate my Spanish verbal skills very well throughout the duration of the project.

“Personally, this experience successfully exposed me to a new culture and gave me a good idea of what it would be like to study or work in a different country for a long period of time. I could realistically see myself being enrolled in a research opportunity, or even a career in a different part of the globe.

“Professionally, this TPG experience made me realize that I want to be a surgeon. Overall, this project was a success. It was the real-world exposure I needed to show me that my future in the medical field is a real one.

“Intellectually, while shadowing alongside doctors and residents, I learned what it looks like to critically consider several possible outcomes when taking into account what is concretely known. Critical thinking skills are applied to every profession and discipline, especially when direct caring for individuals is involved.

“Experiences like this one matter because learning outside your comfort zone aids in gaining new cultural literacy. Also, being able to explore a field outside of a classroom gives someone the knowledge they need to be able to choose which career they want to pursue.” 

Why I chose Ohio Wesleyan 

“This was the only school I applied to that had my specific focus as a major in neuroscience.” 

My plans after graduation 

“Gap year and then medical school.”