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Pascal Accoh ’12
How did Lake Forest College help you find opportunities for research and internships, get into medical school, and further your career?
When I was a student here, I realized the College has a strong partnership with Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. Working with Dr. DebBurman at Lake Forest in my first year exposed my interest in research. I continued doing research at Rosalind Franklin all four years. Through that process, I looked at different topics such as paralysis in and development of the brain, and I used that research to write a senior thesis. My professors instilled in me the concept of researching by approaching different scientific concepts from different perspectives.
What specific projects stick out to you that you were able to work on at Lake Forest College?
I did a lot of poster presentations based on my own research while here. Through practice, I developed the skills to compete in poster presentations, which my professors helped support and facilitate. I carried that skill into medical school, where I still give poster presentations. That’s a skill you can include on your résumé or in an application to show what you’re capable of doing when applying to medical school. It also shows how effective of a communicator you can be and the ability you have to deliver certain pieces of information or explain certain concepts. You will use those presentations skills throughout your career.
How did Lake Forest College give you an edge when applying to medical schools?
My poster presentations were something that I could put on my application to show that I was well-rounded. That was a big, important piece of my packet when I applied. The experience of doing research journals for years also helped me demonstrate to medical schools that I was multi-faceted and that I was an applicant who was not only interested in practicing medicine, but who could also do the research component.
What was the transition like for you from high school to Lake Forest College and medical school?
The transition was different coming from the south side of Chicago up north, where things are a lot calmer and move at a different pace. Coming from the Chicago Public School system, I felt like Lake Forest College provided me the opportunity to fill in the gaps of certain areas that I hadn’t gotten a chance to address while I was in high school. The people here—the staff and the faculty—were very supportive of that.
What made you choose Lake Forest College?
It was really the student-teacher ratio that made me gravitate toward Lake Forest College. I was interested in the opportunity to have more one-on-one encounters with faculty here and develop long-term relationships with them. The faculty here are very supportive, and I was able to consult with them as far as what my future career goals were. Professors still reach out to this day to see how I’m doing and help me further my career.