Feature Stories

Four Med Schools Want Pooja, a Senior at NJIT

Senior Pooja Sheth was accepted into four medical schools.

Senior Pooja Sheth was accepted into four medical schools: Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Drexel College of Medicine and Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine all want her. She’s now deciding which offer to accept.

It’s been her adult-long dream to attend medical school and now, thanks to her solid NJIT education, her dream is within easy reach. 

In brief, Pooja, is a biomedical engineering major who recently won the Newark College of Engineering Saul K. Fenster Innovation in Design Award.  She’s a scholar in the Albert Dorman Honors College with a 3.9 GPA. Though she’s done major research and design projects at NJIT, she’s also been involved in the theater program. 

In this interview, she talks about her many accomplishments at NJIT.

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Why did you enroll at NJIT after high school?

I came from an engineering high school, The Middlesex County Academy for Science Mathematics and Engineering Technologies, which is where I first became interested in biomedical engineering. NJIT's BME department showed superior research opportunities and education because of their specialization tracks within the department. The strong department, research opportunities, and full scholarship from the Albert Dorman Honors College were my biggest reasons for attending NJIT.

What will you miss about NJIT?

As I move on to my professional education next year, I will most miss the people I have met during my time at NJIT. I have made many friends and colleagues in the biomedical engineering department, the Honor's College, and in the NJIT-Rutgers Theater Program. I hope to keep in touch with all of them while continuing along my career path. 

Do you feel NJIT prepared you well for medical school?  

My education and experiences at NJIT were tremendous assets when applying to medical school and major large contributors to my preparedness for the task. Biomedical engineering and all of my extracurricular activities gave me a solid foundation in the natural sciences, critical thinking abilities, and interpersonal skills. The three are necessary to succeed as a student in medical school and later on as a practicing physician.

Talk about the research you’ve done.

My first research opportunity was through the St. Barnabas summer internship, which the NJIT biomedical engineering department facilitates every year. Three students from the department are chosen for this nine-week program in which we had the opportunity to shadow surgeons, residents, and medical students during their lectures and proceedings. During the program, we prepared a research paper and presentation on a biomedical engineering topic of interest, which we then presented to the surgeons at St. Barnabas Medical Center. The program was an incredible learning experience in both the medical and biomedical disciplines.

And you also did two projects at NJIT.

Yes, the following semester, I began research in the Medical Device Concept Laboratory with Professor George Collins, whose lab is in the CHEN building on campus.  I then soon started my own project, which involved the regeneration of cartilage tissue using what is known as electro- spinning.  Currently, I am working on the development of a cardiac surgical device that will reduce the time it takes surgeons to repair or replace heart valves.  I am doing this project in collaboration with my capstone team, which includes Margaret Christian, Alexis Ipecki, and Luis Urdanivia. The project has received funding from multiple sources and is currently under a provisional patent.

And you love the theater.

Aside from my research, my proudest accomplishment at NJIT is my recent immersion into the Rutgers-NJIT Theater Program. I have had the privilege of performing in the recent production of Bat Boy, The Musical, under Director Michael Kerley and will be performing in a second production this semester, Certified Organic, under Director Louis Wells. My passion for the performing arts is one of the most important aspects of my college career.

But your future is in med school?

Yes, looking into the future, I will be pursuing my dream to become a physician. I have so far been accepted to Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Drexel College of Medicine, and Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.  I’m now deciding which to attend. 

By Robert Florida