Careers in Medicine SP.252

The field of medicine is a vast industry, full of a variety of exciting careers! Careers in Medicine SP.252 will help you explore your interests in the medical field and learn about the many career paths available!

About the course

Careers in Medicine SP.252 is a first-year discovery subject offered each fall semester designed for first-year students considering careers as Physicians (MD), Physician-Scientists (MD-PhD), Researchers (PhD), Biostaticians, Biomedical Engineers, and more, or those interested in working in Public Health, Healthcare Administration/Business, and other health related fields. Students enrolled will also learn about the different majors and opportunities that can assist them in exploring these career paths. Through a variety of career exploration activities, alumni & faculty guest speakers, and visits to campus labs, students enrolled will be better suited to determine the career in medicine that best aligns with their interests, skills, values, and future goals.

First-year students discover medical careers in Prehealth Advising-led SP.252” offers an overview of Careers in Medicine SP.252 in fall 2022, the students’ experience in the class, and the alumni and faculty guest speakers that participated.

This Fall 2024 semester, Careers in Medicine will be held on Thursdays from 2:00 – 3:15 pm in Building 1, Room 150 (1-150).

Email Akunna Rosser, Senior Assistant Director for Prehealth Advising at arosser@mit.edu, with any questions about the course.

Fall 2023 class schedule, site visits, and guest speakers

Sept. 6Introduction to Prehealth Advising & Career Advising & Professional Development (CAPD) led Akunna Rosser, SP.252 lead instructor, and Ariel Ackermann, CAPD’s Asst. Director for First Year Engagement, and students’ engaging in the Career Values Card Sort activity


Sept. 13Student Panel on ‘How I Chose my Major’ | Panelists will include current prehealth and non-prehealth students pursuing careers in medicine (MD, MD-PhD, PhD, MPH, etc.)

Caroline Bao ’24, MEng ‘25

  • Expected to graduate June 2023, MEng 2024
  • Major: Computer Science & Molecular Biology
  • Applied to medical school in 2023, matriculating in 2024
Headshot: Melody Guo

Melody Guo ‘24

  • Senior, ‘24
  • Major: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
  • Course 9 inspired her to apply to medical school
  • Applied to medical school in 2023, matriculating in 2024
Headshot: Mulan Jiang

Mulan Jiang ‘24

  • Senior, ‘24
  • Major: Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied to medical school in 2023, matriculating in 2024

Sept. 20Opportunities at MIT to Acquire Clinical Experience | Guest Speakers include Vippy Yee, Assistant Dean at the Priscilla King Gray (PKG) Public Service Center, Akunna Rosser, Senior Assistant Director at Prehealth Advising, and more….


Sept. 27 Prof. Kristin Knouse, MD-PhD, Biology Department | This class will be a site visit to the Koch Institute and Prof. Knouse’s Lab

Prof. Kristin Knouse, MD-PhD, Biology Department

Prof. Knouse received her MD-PhD from the combined Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program. Her research involves studying liver regeneration.


Oct. 4 Tour of MIT’s Center for Clinical & Translational Research


Oct. 11 Suturing Principles & Techniques in Animal Surgery with Veterinarian Erica Long


Oct. 18 Dr. Giovanni Traverso, MD-PhD, MechE Department & Gastroenterologist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital


Oct. 25 Dr. Jonathan Spector, MD/MPH, Novartis

Jonathan Spector, MD/MPH, Head Global Health Strategy at Novartis

Dr. Spector attended New York Medical College for medical school. He later pursued a Masters in Public Health from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Spector’s practice has involved traveling globally to South America, South Africa, Israel, Angola, Uganda, Ethiopia and Asia.


Nov. 1Ethics in the Pharmaceutical Industry: A discussion led by MIT alum, Guadalupe Hayes-Mota ’08, BS, MS, MBA


Nov. 8 Dr. Marilyn Liang ’90, MD at Boston Children’s Hospital & Associate Professor in Dermatology at HMS

Marilyn Liang, MD, Associate Prof. in Dermatology at HMS, Boston Children’s Hospital

Dr. Liang attended MIT as an undergrad majoring in Course 7 (Biology) and the University of Rochester for medical school where she specialized in dermatology. Dr. Liang currently works at Boston Children’s Hospital as the co-director in the Vascular Anomalies Center (VAC). Her work involves using laser surgery techniques to remove birthmarks, acne, tumors, and other skin anomalies.


Nov. 15 Broad Institute Tour and Panel including a MD, PhD, and MD-PhD



Dec. 6: Reflecting on the First-Year and Exploring Paths to Success | The Clifton Strengths Quest Experience – Akunna Rosser


Past class schedules and guest speakers

In Careers in Medicine SP.252, students will have the opportunity to explore careers in medicine and health care through hearing MIT alumni and partners discuss their educational path and career journey. The guest speakers represent a diverse array of majors and careers, including physicians, physician-scientists, research scientists, biomedical engineers, bioinformatics analysts, occupational therapists, health system managers, and health economists. Through hearing MIT alumni and partners discuss their educational and career path, students can begin exploring their interests and values and see how they can have an impact on patients, both directly and indirectly, all while advancing the field of medicine and healthcare.

Careers in Medicine SP.252 can count toward the 6-unit discovery-focused credit limit for first-year students.

Class schedule and guest speakers

9/8Introduction to Prehealth Advising and Course Overview: Career Values Card Sorts activity
9/15Student Panel: MIT students’ discuss ‘How I Chose My Major?’ A panel of current undergraduates from Courses 6, 7, 9, 20 and more will discuss the factors that helped them choose their major. Panelists are considering medical school, graduate school, and working in industry.
9/22Tour of Center for Clinical & Translational Research | https://www.crc.mit.edu/ Catherine Ricciardi – DNP, ANP-BC BSN, Worcester State UnivDNP, MGH Institute of Health Professions The CCTR is MIT’s one-stop shop for conducting human research, serving as a state-of-the-art facility equipped with an extensive array of clinical and technical equipment to meet MIT’s translation and human research needs. Professionals in the CCTR include MD, NP, RN, Research Scientists, and technical support.
9/29Dr. Shawn Ferullo, MD BS, Psychology – Boston UniversityMD, Boston University SOM MIT’s Chief of Sports Medicine & Orthopedics and the Chief of Student Health. Dr. Ferullo is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in Boston Univ’s Dept of Family Medicine. Bio https://medical.mit.edu/find-a-provider/shawn-m-ferullo
10/6Dr. Sophie Chung, MD · BS, Biology, Spanish Minor, ’14 MIT; MD, Yale SOM A general surgery resident at UC San Diego and currently conducting research at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Chung is interested in surgical oncology, trauma, and data-driven surgical outcomes research. Bio https://www.linkedin.com/in/sophie-chung-md-a71b352a/
10/13Identifying Strengths & First Year Planning Using your CliftonStrengths Assessment to identify and develop your many talents and strengths during your first-year. The class will explore the results of your CliftonStrengths Assessment to better understand where you currently are and where you would like to be.
10/20Gaudalupe Hayes-Mota ‘08, MS, MBA · BS, Chemistry – MIT A healthcare and biotech leader, with a specific focus on helping biopharmaceuticals, hospitals, clinics, government, and non-profits innovate to expand medical treatment to patients globally. Bio https://www.guadalupehayesmota.com/
10/27Angela Koehler, PhD BA, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Reed CollegePhD, Harvard As an Associate Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT, Dr. Koehler’s lab focuses on building chemical tools and methods for studying temporal aspects of transcriptional regulation in development and disease with a focus on cancer. Dr. Koehler is also a member of the Committee on PreHealth Advising at MIT (COPA). Bio http://koehlerlab.org/teamkoehler
11/3Briana Stephenson, PhD | BS, Mathematics – MIT MPH, Biostatistics – George Washington Univ.PhD, Biostatistics – UNC Chapel Hill An Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Stephenson’s research focuses on using biostatics methods to create innovative models that address data complexities found in maternal health, nutritional epidemiology, psychological health, health disparities, etc. Bio https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/profile/briana-joy-k-stephenson/
11/10Dr. Sharmin Ghaznavi, Psychiatry MGH · BS, Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Biology, and Philosophy – MIT · MD-PhD – Yale SOM The Associate Director & Director of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Center for the Neuroscience of Psychedelics at MGH. Dr. Ghaznavi also serves as a psychiatrist and instructor at Harvard Medical School. Bio https://researchers.mgh.harvard.edu/profile/1845795/Sharmin-Ghaznavi
11/17Mariana Arcaya, PhD; MIT Faculty A.B., Environmental Science and Policy – Duke Univ.PhD, Harvard An Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Public Health in MIT’s DUSP. Dr. Arcaya is a social epidemiologist and urban planner whose work explores how health shapes socioeconomic outcomes and health risk factors shape urban planning & policy. Bio https://dusp.mit.edu/people/mariana-arcaya
12/1Dr. Giovanni Traverso, MD BA, Medical Sciences and Genetics; MB, Medicine – Cambridge Univ.PhD, Early Detection of Colon Cancer – Johns Hopkins An Assistant Professor in MechE at MIT. Also, an Assistant Professor of Medicine and associate physician in the Division of Gastroenterology at Brigham Women’s Hospital. Prof. Traverso’s research interests include biomedical device development, ingestible & implantable robotics, and drug delivery for optimal drug adherence. Bio https://engineering.mit.edu/faculty/giovanni-traverso/

In Careers in MedicineSP.252, students will have the opportunity to explore careers in medicine and health care through hearing MIT alumni and partners discuss their educational path and career journey. The guest speakers represent a diverse array of majors and careers, including physicians, physician-scientists, research scientists, biomedical engineers, bioinformatics analysts, occupational therapists, health system managers, and health economists. Through hearing MIT alumni and partners discuss their educational and career path, students can begin exploring their interests and values and see how they can have an impact on patients, both directly and indirectly, all while advancing the field of medicine and healthcare.

Careers in Medicine SP.252 can count toward the 6-unit discovery-focused credit limit for first-year students.

Class schedule and guest speakers

9/9Introduction to Prehealth Advising and Course Overview: Career Values Card Sorts activity
9/16Student Panel: Current MIT students pursuing careers in medicine & healthcare Career paths: MD, PhD, MS, Public Health
9/23Gaudalupe Hayes-Mota ‘08, MS, MBA | BS, Chemistry A healthcare and biotech leader, with a specific focus on helping biopharmaceuticals, hospitals, clinics, government, and non-profits
9/30Dr. Vivian Lee, MD, PhD, MBA | BA, Biochemical Sciences President of Health Platforms at Verily Life Sciences and a passionate champion of improving health in the US and worldwide.
10/7Dr. Jacqueline Greene ‘07, MD BS, Materials Engineering A facial plastic & reconstructive surgery fellow at Mass Eye & Ear. Dr. Greene received her MD from UCSD.
10/14Dr. David Rapoport ’70, MD | SB, Physics Director of Research in Integrative Sleep Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sai
10/21Afua Banful ’03, PhD Economics | BS, Materials Science & Engineering & Economics A nationally-known expert in growth strategies for hospitals and health systems and serves as the founder of Sound Health Advisory LLC.
10/28Dr. Cecilia Stuopis ‘90, MD | BS, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering The Medical Director at MIT where she is responsible for the medical & mental health services at institute.
11/4Dr. Shipli Epstein ’94, MD BS, Chemical Engineering with Biology minor Dr. Epstein is a pediatric cardiologist and is currently the Medical Director at Rocket Pharmaceuticals, an organization developing best-in-class curative gene therapies for rare childhood disorders.
11/18Angela Koehler PhD | https://be.mit.edu/directory/angela-koehler BA, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology As an Associate Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT, Dr. Koehler’s lab focuses on building chemical tools and methods for studying temporal aspects of transcriptional regulation in development and disease with a focus on cancer. Dr. Koehler is also a member of the Committee on PreHealth Advising at MIT (COPA)
12/2Kristin Nuckols OTD and Richard Nuckols PhD, Hand Recovery from the Comfort of Home | Kristin holds a Masters of OT from James Madison Univ and a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) from Boston University. Kristin is the Co-Founder & Clinical Programming Lead at Imago Rehab, a medical device company enabling superior recovery stroke survivors through home- use wearable robotics and digital health. Richard holds a BS, Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and a PhD in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering from UNC Chapel Hill/NC State. Richard uses his background in engineering, biomechanics, and clinical understanding to develop assistive technologies and wearable robotics for clinical gait rehabilitation.