UConn freshmen look to form surgery interest club for medical undergrads

UConn freshmen Brianna Markunas and Twisha Shah posted in the UConn Buy or Sell Tickets Facebook page to gain whether students would be interested in the idea of a surgery interest group. (Screenshot/UConn Buy or Sell Tickets Facebook)

University of Connecticut first-semester chemical engineering students, Brianna Markunas and Twisha Shah, recently proposed an idea to create a surgery interest group for undergraduate students hoping to pursue a career in the medical field.

Shah posted the proposal on the UConn’s Buy or Sell Tickets Facebook page, which had almost 200 likes and 130 comments as of this publication.

“The plan is for it to be an undergraduate version of the ‘Interest in Surgery Group’ that already exists at the medical school level at UConn health,” Markunas said.

Both Markunas and Shah said they hope that the club can be a way for students to network with surgeons, residents and other medical students. By networking, students would have a better opportunity to get involved in their field in the future, Shah said.

Markunas and Shah already have a trauma surgeon from St. Francis Hospital, as well as a few other contacts, who are interested in helping out with the new group, Markunas said.

“We also hope to do a few combined meetings with the group at UConn Health so we can interact with the medical students,” Markunas said.

Shah suggested the group could also hold tours of medical schools, hospitals and research centers. Since healthcare is a very private field, this group would be a great opportunity for students to see a different side of medicine, Shah said.

The surgeons and other healthcare professionals interested in the new group are willing to hold Q&A sessions, suture clinics and other workshops that would involve hands-on activities, Markunas said.

“A great way of knowing if surgery is the right path for many students is by seeing first-hand what kind of a field it would be,” Shah said.

According to Shah, there are currently no clubs at UConn for undergraduates that hold hands-on workshops for students looking to go into the medical field. Both Markunas and Shah said they believe this kind of experience would be very beneficial.

“I think having any sort of experience is crucial to make sure medicine is right for you, since it’s such a big decision. The more experience, the better you’ll feel about the decision,” Markunas said.

The group is open to everyone, although Markunas and Shah anticipate mostly pre-med students with an interest in surgical-based careers to join.

For more information, Markunas and Shah have formed a Facebook group page called “Interest in Surgery (undergrad group)” that is open to all interested undergrads.


Emma DeGrandi is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at emma.degrandi@uconn.edu.