Andrew Song (AB '16) - 'The people who inspired me to be a physician-leader'

Song relied on the Office of Career Advancement to help him organize his interests and aspirations, from symphonies to oncology, as he prepared for his next step.
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Class of 2016 | Biological Sciences with Specialization in Endocrinology

But more than anything else, it was the people, the individuals who give life to this University, that inspired me to become a physician-leader.
Andrew Song

Some people are said to switch their majors as often as they change their lunch order. But thanks to the extracurricular and career preparation options offered by UChicago, Andrew Song (AB ‘16) stuck with his degree in biological sciences. He specialized in endocrinology while pursuing his goal of entering medical school and exploring other possibilities along the way.

Over the course of three years, Song spent his summers doing intensive research in health and medicine as a Katen Scholar, working as a Metcalf intern in the public relations department of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and most recently helping out in Nigeria as a Metcalf Fellow at the Center for Global Health.

But from the first day he set foot on campus, he knew he wanted to be a doctor.

“I came to the University of Chicago with the goal of entering medical school and becoming a doctor. UChicago offered me all the resources I could ever need to prepare for medical school: a stunning medical center right on campus, advanced research facilities, vibrant student organizations, and a world-class education,” Song said. “But more than anything else, it was the people, the individuals who give life to this University, that inspired me to become a physician-leader.”

Song named a wide variety of individuals as influencers and mentors that helped shape his career path while at UChicago.

Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade, a breast cancer physician and researcher, guided Song in a national conference presentation and publication while teaching him about the societal and global context of medicine. Song’s participation in the Clinical Excellence Scholars program at UChicago’s Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence introduced him to fellow future physicians as they learned about medical ethics, sociocultural barriers to healthcare, and the patient-doctor relationship.

Song also relied on the Office of Career Advancement’s health professions advising program to help him organize his interests and aspirations as he prepared for his next step.

“UChicago Careers in Health Professions has simply amazing advisors. They not only helped me prepare for the medical school application process, but also became my friends and family. They mentored, pushed, and advocated for me throughout my entire undergraduate experience,” he said.

Now, Song is doing exactly what he set out to do: as a first year medical student at Harvard, he has already been studying anatomy, cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, and pharmacology in the first few weeks of class. He plans to pursue a career in oncology and credited his variety of pre-professional experiences at UChicago in preparing him for his future.

“Whether or not you have a clear career path in mind, explore everything that UChicago has to offer in order to find your passion,” Song said, thinking of advice for current UChicago students. “Figure out what your particular dream is and how you want to make an impact on your society. With an overarching goal and purpose for your education, it will make your studying easier, will have you waking up each morning motivated and energized, and will give you greater meaning and purpose to your life. The University of Chicago certainly did so for me.”