Purdue Health Sciences student bolstered by summer academic experience in Washington, DC

Written by: Tim Brouk, tbrouk@purdue.edu

Kyndal Poore at Howard University

Kyndal Poore, a junior in the School of Health Sciences, earned a summer academic opportunity at historic Howard University. She spent six weeks in Washington, D.C., learning new health care techniques to bolster her path to medical school.

Kyndal Poore’s road to medical school includes a summer stop at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The Purdue University biomedical health sciences junior was one of 80 college students admitted nationwide into the competitive Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) at the historically Black university, which counts among its alumni U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, author Toni Morrison and the late actor Chadwick Boseman.

SHPEP is a free summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions. SHPEP’s goal is to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of underrepresented students in health professions and prepare them for a successful application and matriculation to professional schools. 

: Purdue Health Sciences student bolstered by summer academic experience in Washington, DC

From June 4-July 15, Poore attended classes, gained clinical experience, networked and, during her downtime, took in all that Washington, D.C., had to offer. Poore said the experience will assist in her pre-med pursuits and overall academic experience back in West Lafayette — and beyond.

“This program has done an excellent job of setting me up for success in my last two years (at Purdue),” Poore stated. “Before this summer, I was unsure of what my journey looked like. Now, I can confidently say I have a tentative plan of when I’m applying (to med school), taking the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), and I have acquired a large network of professionals I can contact to help me get to that end goal. Additionally, just spending the summer enveloped in a pre-medical atmosphere has really lit a fire under me to keep pushing forward despite how long the process may be or any setbacks I may acquire.”

Hailing from Fishers, Indiana, Poore is also pursuing a certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation at Purdue.

What was your favorite experience at SHPEP?

My favorite experience would be a workshop that we had with the United States Army. We got to participate in multiple skills applications, such as suturing, and other hands-on activities that I otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to. Additionally, I had the opportunity to shadow a psychiatrist for the first time. We got a tour of the psychiatry wing of Howard University Hospital, met with a patient and spoke to them about their condition and mental state, and spent time asking questions to the doctor himself about his journey to medicine.

What was a typical day like in this program?

The program is meant to put us in the shoes of professional students, as that’s the goal we’re eventually trying to reach. Thus, my typical day looks like that of a medical student. From about 10 a.m.-5 p.m., we are in classes and workshops. I will typically get up an hour before my first class to ensure I have enough time to get dressed and go to the cafeteria for breakfast. I took four classes — Physics, Organic Chemistry, Healthcare Ethics and Cultural Competency. Outside of SHPEP activities, you’re just living in Washington, D.C. So, I’ve tried to explore the area as much as possible and take advantage of all the activities and food the area has to offer.

What are you learning outside of academics during SHPEP? 

Networking, networking, networking! Outside of academics, SHPEP has put the most emphasis on connecting scholars with individuals who can serve as a light on their academic journey. Not only is each scholar set up with a mentor in the college of their specialty, but through workshops, shadowing, panels and more, you’re in a constant rotation of meeting new physicians and medical professionals. One of the more valuable connections I was able to make was with David Rose, the associate dean of student affairs and admissions for Howard College of Medicine.

How did it feel to get accepted into this program in the first place?

I was ecstatic to be selected, as this is something I had been working toward for a while and had been perfecting my application since last summer. It validated that all of my ambition, grades and extracurriculars that I had worked to partake in during my time at school has paid off.