Fatima Hooda '16

Class Year


Area(s) of Study

Majors in Biology and Global Health & Policy: Sustainable Development (Self-designed)
Minor in Chemistry


Skokie, IL

Graduate Study

Midwestern University

What made you choose Lake Forest College?

As a student who has multifaceted interests, I understood the importance of obtaining a liberal-arts education. I wanted the ability to study a variety of disciplines, take courses outside of the pre-medicine track, conduct research and thesis, study abroad, and have personalized teaching and mentorship from my professors. I consider myself blessed to have attended an institution that allowed me to pursue all the opportunities I wanted and allowed me to avail an education that enriched my academic, professional, and personal life. 

How did a liberal arts education make a difference for you?

I remember going through course listings and being excited by many courses - Medical Mysteries of the Mind, Politics in the Third World, African Drumming, Singing, Education in Post-Industrialized Countries, etc. Not only were these phenomenal classes, but taught by experts in the field who were not only teaching the curriculum, but providing you with the skills to think more critically about the topics and instilling a passion to learn more about the specific disciplines. 

With the interdisciplinary nature of professions today, no matter what field you are in, it is an asset to be well-versed in your knowledge, which has the power to shape a more critical, deeper perspective, stronger interactions with others, and strengthen your leadership skills. 

What experiences outside of the classroom do you think helped prepare you for DO school?

LFC offered me the opportunity to grow as a student and leader. I was a Richter Scholar in Dr. Karen Kirk’s lab, where I eventually completed my thesis in Biology and collaborated with leaders in our niched area of research, Dr. Stephen and Ayesha Osmani. In addition, after being selected for the Gilman Scholarship, I participated in a public health study abroad in Jordan and Turkey and conducted research among Syrian refugees. I also founded the Jalwa Bollywood Dance Club, where we showcased different forms of South-Asian dances at events and had the opportunity to collaborate with other students.By maximizing the opportunities at Lake Forest, I was able to create a unique and holistic application for DO school.   

How did your time at Lake Forest help you prepare to apply to DO school programs? 

Lake Forest’s small campus community allowed me direct access to personalized mentorship in any field, discipline, and college services. This personalized mentorship was key in allowing me to meet my goals to attend medical school. 

What do you think of the new Health Professions Program between LFC and RFU?

My interdisciplinary interests made it difficult for me to be completely committed to applying to medical school. After graduating LFC, I took a gap year to gain more clinical exposure to the medical field, which allowed me to solidify my decision. I believe, in accessing the new Health Professions Program, LFC students have a greater advantage in gaining a better perspective and more direction as to what profession they would like to enter and receive mentorship from health profession students. 

What skills and experiences at Lake Forest do you believe will help you be successful?

The advantage of a small campus and small class sizes are the depth of critical conversations and personalized attention that I was able to benefit from as a student. This type of education is invaluable, as it challenged me to think at a more deeper and critical level.

What advice would you give a high school student looking to pursue pre-health and is considering Lake Forest College?

Consider the value of a liberal-arts education, access to experts in their field, personalized mentorship, small teacher-to-student ratio, and your financial aid package. Lake Forest College is an excellent institution, particularly for students who are dedicated to maximizing their potential.