The Alliance in focus: Meet Courtney Smith

April 30, 2014

Image with caption: Courtney Smith, left, with High School Alliance (and Bellevue West) classmate Alexa Aikens.

Courtney Smith, left, with High School Alliance (and Bellevue West) classmate Alexa Aikens.

Fifty-five members of the UNMC High School Alliance are among the students taking classes at UNMC.

The students come from high schools around the Omaha area and take college-level classes at UNMC to prepare for health careers. Each month, UNMC Today profiles an alliance student.

Today we meet:

  • Name: Courtney Smith
  • High school: Bellevue West.
  • Year: I am currently a junior.

How did you get involved in the UNMC High School Alliance?
I got involved by reading the semester newsletter that is passed out by the counseling office. In this letter are all the educational opportunities that students can participate in during upcoming months. I decided to get involved to feed my immense hunger to be a doctor.

What sparked your interest in science?
I have always said that I was going to be a doctor; I can't remember a time when I said anything different. Some major diagnoses of close family members have affected the field of medicine I may pursue. My recent diagnosis of Type I diabetes is definitely the greatest influence.

What are your career aspirations?
Currently I am undecided on which career path to take: Either obtain my Ph.D., M.D., or both. If I were to receive both, I would be granted the opportunity to discover something new and apply it practically to my patients. Either way, I plan on carrying out a career in endocrinology or hematology.

What has been the best part of your UNMC High School Alliance experience?
My best experiences while being a part of the High School Alliance would definitely be the course work, shadowing opportunities and the pleasure of befriending a diverse group of individuals. Through one of my courses, I was exposed to a profession that I am now thinking about pursuing. Shadowing allowed me to appreciate the various professions in health care.


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