Hi everyone! My name is Chloe Schlitt, and I am from Vero Beach, FL. I am a fourth year Health Science major. From the time I started college to a couple months ago, I was on the pre-medical track. I only recently discovered that I am passionate about health care policy and management. I am currently applying to the Master of Health Administration program here at UF to make those dreams a reality.
Starting my first year at UF, I applied to a pre-health organization called Pre-Professional Service Organization. I started out as a member and have since held three positions on the board, two of which were executive positions. I was the Social Director my second year, Treasurer my third year, and Secretary my fourth (current) year. I have grown so much in this organization over the years. I have gotten better at making decisions, managing multiple responsibilities, and communicating effectively with a diverse group of people. I have been able to handle more work than I ever thought I could, and this has helped increase my confidence in myself as a leader and as a student. This has by far been my most meaningful involvement. If I could give any advice to a freshman, I would tell him/her to get involved in a club he/she is passionate about, stick with it for four years, and grow in leadership through that organization. It has truly made me the person I am today.
In my first year, I started volunteering with Shands hospital in an outpatient eye clinic. I made phone calls to confirm appointments, kept the lobby area clean, and helped patients get to their rooms. In my second year, I had the opportunity to join the Child Life team at Shands and work in an outpatient pediatric clinic for children with chronic diseases. I played with patients in the waiting rooms, talked to families, and helped the office organize files. I learned so much about interpersonal and professional skills from those two volunteering opportunities. Even though I do not think I am going to medical school anymore, I was still able to experience being on the frontline of our health care system and learn about what real patients go through each day.
The summer after my second year, I applied for an assistant position in a research lab at the McKnight Brain Institute here at UF. I worked with rats for the first time: feeding them, handling them, and helping them learn how to run on our tracks. I developed great relationships with the people in this lab and learned so much about laboratory procedures and neuroscience terms. My research professor told me that if I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my future, I could always get a master’s degree in neuroscience and come work in his lab.
Although I spent most of my undergraduate time focusing on medical school, it was my health science courses were actually the catalyst to me becoming interested in insurance, policy, and leadership in the healthcare world. I remember taking Dr. Kates’ class in my third year and becoming fascinated with healthcare systems. His passion for the material really struck an interest in me and got me excited to make a difference in people’s lives in a way other than being a physician. It took me until the time that I was actually filling out my medical school applications to realize that I did not want to go to medical school anymore. Every time I tried to write a medical school essay, I found myself writing about health care management instead of following the prompt. It was scary to accept the fact that medical school might not be the best road for me, but I am excited to find my new place in the health care world, possibly as an administrator.