By: Dana Convissar, PR Officer, 2013-2014
Sarah Cheng graduated from Vassar last year with a major in Biochemistry. She served as PR Officer for VCEMS during her senior year and is currently in her first year at UCSF School of Medicine.
VCEMS: What made you decide to join VCEMS and what was your favorite part?
Sarah Cheng: Vassar’s EMT course was actually too full my first-year, so my path to VCEMS was a bit delayed than most. I was interested in medicine and wanted to learn more about taking care of patients. VCEMS also was an opportunity to be more involved in the Vassar community. The very best part of EMS are the friendships you make and the people you meet. You really get to know the crew you’re on call with, the patients you are taking care of, and of course your classmates (and Ed!) on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
VCEMS: What is the most important thing you learned from VCEMS?
Sarah: Learning how to maneuver school and life while balancing my backpack and EMS duffel was SO helpful during my carry-on bag adventures between California and New York.
VCEMS: How has your experience volunteering with VCEMS influenced your current work or future career plans?
Sarah: I was a biochemistry major and spent a bit of time contemplating whether to apply to graduate or medical programs after Vassar. Through my experience with VCEMS, I realized how much I enjoyed interacting with and taking care of people; it was one of the confirming factors in my decision to pursue medicine. I’m currently studying at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
VCEMS: Do you think your experience with VCEMS has helped you in medical school? If so, how?
Sarah: Knowing how to take an accurate blood pressure is an amazing life-skill to know.
VCEMS: What’s your spirit animal?
Sarah: Squirrels. Just kidding, they terrify me. Probably the hummingbird because I like to keep myself busy.
VCEMS: Words of advice to current members?
Sarah: I was plenty scared during my first calls of messing up vital signs or letting my crew down if I blank on something. Don’t be afraid to make these mistakes; it’s really just part of the learning process. VCEMS is fantastic because it provides a peer-teaching environment with two sets of eyes also watching and supporting you along the way.
VCEMS: Anything else you would like to add?
Sarah: VCEMS was a big part of my life at Vassar and I would be more than happy to be a resource. If you have questions about being pre-med at Vassar, medical school, or questions unrelated to squirrels (I’ll refer you to Jess and Moby Dick instead) feel free to get my contact through the officers.