Julie Mhlaba

"When I came to Pritzker for Revisit weekend, I felt completely at home. After meeting the students and faculty, I could tell that this was a place where I would be supported, while being pushed to become my best self."

Hometown: Newton, MA
College: University of Michigan
Major:Brain, Behavior & Cognitive Science
Scholarship and Discovery Track: Quality and Safety Scholarship
Highlights of Pre-Med Career: During college, I spent most of my time rehearsing and performing with my co-ed, multicultural a capella group 58 Greene. I also mentored middle and high-school students, conducted research in physiology, and performed in the musical Aida. After college, I spent a year working at an ophthalmology practice in Boston and at a non-profit organization that supported homeless and low-income families through community involvement.

Why medicine?
Medicine is a unique profession in that it allows you to develop meaningful relationships with your patients while using your experiences to further the field. I am also attracted to the flexibility that a medical degree will afford me to pursue areas beyond traditional clinical medicine including teaching, mentorship, and service.

Why Pritzker?
When I came to Pritzker for Revisit weekend, I felt completely at home. After meeting the students and faculty, I could tell that this was a place where I would be supported, while being pushed to become my best self. Even as a first-year student, I have already found this to be true.

What did you think about the transition from undergrad to medical school? Any tips for prospective students?

As pre-med students, we are taught to aim for perfection. For that reason, getting used to the pass/fail system took some time. Once I realized the benefits of pass/fail (collaboration between classmates, ability to spend time doing things you love), I became more comfortable with the realization that it is impossible to know everything.
     I also think that it is important to continue doing activities that you enjoy outside of school. For example, singing in my a capella group was one of my favorite things about college. Upon arriving at Pritzker, I joined Say Ahh and have found many opportunities to perform with many of my classmates.

You really jumped in and got involved with students organizations! Talk about the opportunities available to students outside of the classroom.

One of the reasons I was first attracted to Pritzker was the amazing opportunities that students have to participate in organizations. In particular, I remember talking to my student host about her work at the Maria Shelter Free Clinic, and I knew that I wanted to be involved when I came here. Through my current position as Co-Director of Maria Shelter Free Clinic, I have learned so much from the inspiring women and children at the shelter about caring for patients and the South Side community. I was also able to continue working with underserved youth, something I really enjoy, through HPREP (Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program).
     In addition to serving the community, I have been involved in planning several events at Pritzker, including the Service of Gratitude, First Year Talent Show, and Revisit. When I attended Revisit as a prospective student, I had an incredible time, and I knew that it was something that I wanted to be a part of. Serving as Revisit Co-Chair has been an incredible opportunity to work with classmates, faculty and staff to show our future classmates just how amazing this place is!