Informational Interview


Informational Interview with Dr. Sabrena Noria.

Why did you select this individual to interview?
I work as a student assistant for the department of general surgery at the medical center. Of the twelve surgeons whose paperwork I deal with, Dr. Noria is the only female. As a woman who hopes to pursue a career in surgery, I thought that Dr. Noria could not only give me insight on what being a doctor is like, but also the challenges associated with being a woman in medicine.

Describe the major responsibilities associated with their current role.
Dr. Noria is a surgeon for the Division of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Her major responsibilities include meeting with patients at her clinic, making diagnoses, and performing surgeries. Dr. Noria primarily does minimally invasive surgeries on her patients. She is also a mother, which in my opinion, is another full time job.

Discuss how the person prepared for this role, and if they provided you with any advice as what you might be able to do to prepare for a similar career.
It took Dr. Noria many years to reach the status she has in her field today. She obtained her bachelor’s degree of science in biology from The University of Toronto, graduating with honors in 1994. She continued her education for the next eight years at The University of Toronto. She received a PhD in philosophy before completing their doctor of medicine program in 2005. Dr. Noria completed her general surgery residency before leaving Toronto to come to The Ohio State University to begin her hard earned career as a general surgeon.

Summarize any insights from the interview that might be helpful in your academic or career preparation.
This interview made me realize that becoming a doctor is not always as easy as four years of undergrad followed by four years of medical school like I thought. There is chance I won’t get into any medical school next fall and will have to come up with a back up plan.

About Me

My name is Stevie Muscarella and I am a second year Health Sciences Scholar at The Ohio State University. I am majoring in psychology and minoring in biology on a pre-medicine track. I currently work for the Department of General Surgery as a student assistant and Darby Glenn Nursing and Rehabilitation Center as a state tested nurse’s aide. I volunteer at the front desk of the Ronald McDonald House every Friday night. I want to pursue a career in pediatric surgery. I am passionate about working with children. I spend my summers as a camp counselor at The Ohio State University Recreational Department’s Camp Recky. I hope to be working at Children’s Hospital as a Nurse’s Aide by the end of this year.Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.33.55 PM

Major Service Project


Ever since I was little my response to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” has always been a doctor. Over the years I have decided that I want to be a pediatric surgeon at a children’s hospital. When I learned about Ronald McDonald House Charities I knew how rewarding it would be to be a part of such an amazing organization that gives the families whose children are in these hospitals the comfort of a home away from home. Every Friday night, I work at the front desk of the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio. It is located directly across the street from Nationwide Children’s Hospital so that the families can walk or take a shuttle to and from the hospital at any hour of the day. I answer phone calls, help families check in, and give tours to the new incoming families. It is amazing to see how relieved some parents are to finally have a bed sleep in. While I can not imagine how overwhelmed they must be with a sick child in the hospital, it is nice to be able to provide them with some form of stability in the midst of unthinkable circumstances. The families I work with are so unbelievably grateful and kind despite all their suffering. Because of this service experience, I am more aware of the emotional side of the career I want to get into. I realize how tragic having a sick child must be and that working with families in that situation will not be easy. However, the joy in the eyes of parents who finally get to take their babies home is indescribable. If I can one day be the reason a sick child gets to go home in the arms of their parents, that would be the most rewarding job.

Year in Review

It is crazy to think of where I was nearly two years at the beginning of my time as a health sciences scholar. I was so eager to leave my mom’s house in my small home town and start what I imagined was going to be a carefree college life (boy,was I wrong). I thought college would be full of making new friends and having fun without the rules of my strict parents. While I have definitely made some lifelong friends and memories in the past two years, I was not prepared for the stress that college would bring. Without the constant guidance of my parents, it took quite a few mistakes and a very unexpected GPA for me to learn how to be a responsible adult.
My first year of college I was a biology major on a pre-medicine track taking difficult math and science courses. As a girl who could handle literally anything on her plate, including four varsity sports, AP classes, National Honor Society president, a serving job, and many other things in high school, I thought focusing on classes alone in college would be a cake walk(yet again I was wrong). I graduated in the top of my high school class without ever studying. So, I thought I could get straight As in college using the same strategy. One of the hardest lessons I have learned is that I can not get by in college without working like crazy. However, I improved my GPA from a 2.9 my first year to a 3.8 this past semester!! If I keep working hard I know that I can raise my GPA high enough to be a competitive medical school applicant.
I would be lying if I said that I haven’t learned a lot about chemistry, biology, and psychology these past two years. But, the truth is, I have learned way more about myself than I have learned in any classroom. I have realized who and what is important and what kind of life I want to lead. I have learned lessons that no textbook can teach you. I came into college a completely different person than the girl who is now finishing up the first half of her undergraduate career.
I plan to spend the next two years continuing to study as hard as possible so I can maintain a good GPA and do well on my MCAT. I plan on becoming more involved in student organizations. I want to continue learning how to balance my time between work, school, and fun. I hope to spend more time with both of my parents and brothers. Even though I know it is not going to be nearly as easy as I thought it would, I still want to attend medical school and become a pediatric surgeon. I am thankful for the health sciences scholars program for helping me get there.