Vanessa Arientyl (Rutgers) BTG Class of 2012, MD ’18

“I chose to attend the Keck School of Medicine because it was the one school where I felt I would be supported in any endeavor I would pursue in the future. I wanted to be at a medical school where I would feel comfortable reaching out to the faculty and create a new community for myself. It was a tough decision because for my entire life I was never more than an hour from my parents. Choosing Keck meant that all of that would change. Although I was hesitant, I knew that the faculty and the community that is Keck would become my new family. Now that I am here and now realize I was completely right. I have no doubt that Keck was the right decision for me.”

Chris Im (University of Texas, Houston) BTG Class of 2013, Ph.D. Candidate

“BTG was very insightful in directing me towards my career goal of pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience. I had the opportunity to really understand about the clinical aspect of research and broaden my ability to approach challenging scientific questions from a diverse group of physicians and scientists. Everyone I encountered during the summer program was genuinely passionate about helping their patients and students understand just how special they were to Keck and USC. I was also very impressed by the intimate collaboration between physicians and scientists, and I loved the supportive environment at Keck so much that I decided to pursue my Ph.D. in neuroscience at USC. The BTG program is a truly amazing experience, and I absolutely believe that the program helped me realize that there is no better place to call home than USC!”

Aileen Baffo (Rutgers) BTG Class of 2013, MD ’18

“When I came to Keck during the summer of 2013 for BTG, I had no idea that I would be back in just a short year to attend medical school. However, I did know that my experience at Keck was unmatched to other medical schools. Even as a summer researcher, the students, faculty, and staff welcomed me in as part of the Trojan family. Whether it was academically, medically, physically, or emotionally, I knew I had the support of those around me. Additionally, the medical students did not fit the typical description of a “medical student” to me; they did not seemed stressed at all! I was sure that once in a while, school takes a toll on these students but the fact that they are able to still maintain such calm and controlled aura made me feel very comfortable. It made me realize that although medical school is hard, it is manageable. When interviewing, I sought these traits out in other schools but could not find a school that made me feel the same way as I did that summer at Keck. Although the distance from my home in New Jersey was a major factor, I could not fight the fact that Keck was the place that I know I would fit in and this lead me to make the ultimate decision of choosing Keck!”

Matthew Adame (University of Pennsylvania) BTG Class of 2013, MD ’20

“The BTG program was an integral component in my development as a contributor to the medical field. Through this program I felt that I became more confident at mastering a research project and teaching others. Every step of the way, we were supported by mentors committed to our learning – including researchers in our lab, physicians and scientists teaching us outside of lab, and through shadowing opportunities at county hospital and CHLA. The most important aspect that made Keck stand out is that I felt that I was supported not just as a student, but also as a person. It is clear that Dr. Richey and the Office of Diversity care about our growth, which is what made BTG an incredible experience and was a key factor in my decision to attend Keck.”

Joel Solis (Berkeley) BTG Class of 2014, MD ’20

“Bridging the Gaps gave me the confidence and opportunity to help complete a research project in a field that I am very interested in. From the beginning, Dr. Richey made it clear that she would treat us like family, and nothing has changed even more than 3 years after completing the program. The program catered to our specific interests and concerns while allowing us to form bonds with other members in our cohort. Dr. Richey and the BTG staff were instrumental in my decision to come to Keck for medical school.”

Andrew Rosales (Cal State, Long Beach) BTG Class of 2016, MD ’21

“The BTG summer research program was truly an invaluable experience that not only provided me the opportunity of conducting research within the Keck School of Medicine, but also to obtain new mentors and meet other students sharing common interests and goals. The program’s ability to provide participants a firsthand experience of what life as a Keck student is like was really integral to my strong interest of attending Keck. I look forward to my years training as a medical student at Keck and having the Office of Diversity’s support as I embark on the next chapters of my life as a student and future physician.”