Andreya Castro (Biology, Class of 2021) knew she wanted to enter the medical field since she was a senior in high school. After graduating Old Westbury, Andreya was hired by ScribeAmerica. ScribeAmerica is a company that provides doctors’ offices with medical scribes. The scribes accompany the physician during patient visits and chart doctor-patient conversations. Andreya will begin her work in an OBGYN office and will likely cross train with different types of specialists. Andreya’s experience as a medical scribe will make her a stronger candidate when she begins to apply to Physician Assistant schools.
“I’m a first generation college student,” notes Andreya. “No one in my family was well-versed in the different career paths in health care. Workshops and events at Old Westbury helped me learn about Physician Assistant programs and prepare to apply after graduation.” The coursework a student needs to apply to Physician Assistant program goes above and beyond what is needed to earn a degree from Old Westbury. Andreya credits pre-health advisor and Biology lecturer Eric Schwartz with providing guidance and helping her to plan coursework. Andreya also benefitted from the C-STEP (Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program) and RAM (Research Assistant Mentorship) programs. Math Redesign Lab coordinator Betty Berbari was Andreya’s mentor in the RAM program. She remarks, “Andreya has been interested in becoming a Physician Assistant since we first met!”
“C-STEP was a great source of support,” Andreya claims. “There were stipends for books and research, and many informative workshops on career paths and graduate study.” C-STEP workshops helped Andreya better understand the PA school admissions process. As a RAM student, Andreya worked with Assistant Professor Zulema Cabail on research into obesity and inflammation. Andreya and Cabail’s work involved studying macrophages. Andreya gave presentations on her research at both the statewide C-STEP conference and the Annual Biomedical Conference for Minority Students. Andreya claims that her Senior Seminar classes in Biology helped to hone her presentation skills and get her used to speaking in front of an audience. The Biology department’s Senior Seminar courses also helped Andreya learn how to read scientific articles.
Reflecting on her path, Andreya sees a direct link between her experience at Old Westbury and her work as a medical scribe. In her words, “Old Westbury and C-STEP led me to the job!”
Written by Jon Kleinman