If you had met Megan Tresenriter five years ago, you would have never guessed that she would be headed to medical school at the University of California, Davis. But that’s exactly what this high-achieving PUC senior plans to do next year after she graduates summa cum laude as one of this year’s ten graduates from the Honors Program.
“I had the perception that doctors were really uncaring and busy and didn’t remember people’s name,” Megan says, remembering why she was never interested in pursuing a career in medicine. During her senior year of high school, however, she shadowed two family practice physicians who “totally shattered that stereotype.”
“They would remember their patient’s name; they asked about their family members; they took time to really show the patients that they cared,” she explains. “I realized that these people have the potential to not just heal physical ailments, but also be a support to people who are hurting.”
By the time she started at PUC, Megan knew she wanted to go into medicine and focused on her goal from the start.
“I remember my freshman year I was getting really bogged down in studying—I wasn’t doing anything for anyone else,” she confesses. “It was just focused on me and getting good grades and doing well.”
Towards the end of her freshman year, she was asked if she would be interested in getting involved with REVO, PUC’s student-led philanthropic organization. She accepted, becoming a key part of the REVO team.
“I think that’s when I realized my time is more valuable when it’s spent doing something for someone else,” she says. “I feel the most joy and satisfaction participating that... I’m thankful to PUC to have the opportunity to serve through things like REVO.”
Megan spent her sophomore year studying in Argentina, learning the language and discovering the culture. When she returned her junior year, she was asked to lead REVO as it raised funds for a community kitchen in conjunction with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency. During the spring quarter of her junior year, she remembers taking two science classes, two honor classes and working with REVO.
Megan says that her studies at PUC, particularly within the Honors Program, have affected her belief system and underlined why service should play a large role in her worldview.
“The Honors Program has definitely shaped my views to help people,” she remarks, noting that her first exposure to Christianity as a call to social reform was through classes in the program. “It’s reinforced that regardless of what they believe, my duty is to serve other people.”
“Jesus’ example is that he was the greatest humanitarian,” she adds. “His message, to love others and to treat others as we would like to be treated—I feel like that can be applied really well to medicine and can be lived out through medicine. What attracts me to medicine is that it can so easily be something used to minister and to heal the people.”
Megan followed a rigorous academic curriculum to prepare for medical school. In lieu of the standard general education curriculum, she completed the more-rigorous curriculum offered by Honors Program. She also found time to tutor both Spanish, organic chemistry, and general chemistry, and spent two months as a research assistant in an infectious diseases lab at Children's Hospital Boston in Massachusetts.
After finishing medical school, Megan plans to work with under-served Spanish speaking populations. “I’ve seen it done in a number of ways.... I’m not sure in what capacity yet but I know that’s the population group that I want,” she asserts with passion. “That’s my purpose in going into medicine. It’s not for the money, it’s not for the prestige. It doesn’t matter to me. I just want to be able to help people.”
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