The Department of Catholic Studies is pleased to announce that one of our new graduates will be entering medical school in the fall. Samantha Pettigrew '14 will begin her journey to become a physician at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Samantha began her undergraduate career as a biology major with the intention of eventually going to medical school. Through her determination and hard work she was also able to participate in Seton Hall's Honors program, which exposed her to the benefits of a liberal arts education and opened up for her the possibility of adding another major in Catholic Studies. Here is how Samantha describes her experience with the Department of Catholic Studies:
"I entered college four years ago as a Biology major with the goal of getting into medical school. I was very focused on learning all the scientific principles I would need in my future career, almost to the exclusion of all else. Fortunately, however, I was also enrolled in the University Honors Program, which slowly helped me to expand my ways of thinking and problem solving in the absence of hard facts. By my junior year of college, I was ready to declare a second major in the humanities- and Catholic Studies was the perfect choice.
Through my experience with Catholic Studies, I have gained a solid moral foundation that I will take with me as I enter medical school. Every day, I will face ethical issues that affect myself, my colleagues, and, most importantly, my patients. With the practice I have had in considering these issues, I will be able to make the best choice quickly, an essential skill in medicine.
Science can be difficult for the lay person to understand, especially where the intricate details are concerned. When I wrote my senior thesis focusing on Catholic healthcare in America, I had to explain science in such a way that an advanced background in biology was not necessary. This skill will be essential when I am explaining medical treatments to my patients, who will likely have no scientific background. My second major in Catholic Studies has given me tools that will allow me to communicate effectively with my patients and advocate for them when ethical issues are presented. I would not have honed these skills had I simply focused on increasing my knowledge in biology, and I am incredibly grateful to the Catholic Studies Program for helping me to expand my skill set in such an important way."
"We are incredibly proud of Sam and her accomplishments. She chose a field she is dedicated and passionate about. A career in medicine is a vocation and a lifetime commitment to service. I hope that the Catholic Studies Program provided enough tools for Sam to understand and apply Catholic Social Teaching, and understand the utmost importance of the dignity of every human person," said Dr. Ines Angeli Murzaku, Professor and Chair Department of Catholic Studies.
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