Ellen Fields is a 2012 graduate of Blue Valley North High School. She was in the CAPS Foundations of Medicine class during the 2011-2012 school year. Ellen went on to attend the University of Arkansas. She graduated in 2016 with a major in biology and a minor in business. Ellen is currently a student at the University of Kansas School of medicine. Here are Ellen’s reflections on her time at CAPS.
Did your CAPS experiences help you understand what you wanted to pursue in college and where you wanted to go?
Yes. In many of the CAPS professional development days we talked about admissions to medical school, the sort of things we would be learning in medical school and what might be helpful, etc. Knowing these expectations in advance gave me an advantage. I headed to college and jumped right into a research lab and started work for my thesis. I was able to get a leg up on clinical hours before the weed-out classes started, and had an expectation of what GPA is expected before applying to medical schools.
Did CAPS help prepare you for success in college and beyond?
Absolutely! I have known since I was very young that I wanted to go into medicine. CAPS gave me excellent insight on some of the material that I would be exposed to, and also some really cool real-world experiences that I wouldn’t have gotten, even in college. The exposure part of CAPS was huge – getting the classroom learning of a watered-down version of medical school concepts and being able to go out into the field in hospitals/clinics and practice those as a high school student gave me confidence that this was something I was interested in and definitely wanted to pursue.
What was your biggest take-away from your CAPS experience?
CAPS was great in giving me confidence that this was the specific field that I wanted to go into. For me, the cool thing about CAPS was that it gave you the ability to go out into the field and actually do what you think you’re passionate about – find out how it works in the real world, be able to take part with an active role, and see if this was really the route you want to direct your college years in. It was a great experience to confirm my own personal career path, but it was also cool to see people in my class (who were very bright, and did well in the course) that found out this wasn’t their passion after all, and how they were able to save time and energy by redirect themselves to a route they were better suited in.