Alumni Testimonials

Student Comments




"Being here has also made me reflect on who I am and what I want to do with my life. These questions used to seem far more daunting when I thought about them, but after being here and being presented with so much information about all the paths I could take in healthcare, I feel so much more prepared to consider them. I’ve also had to think about how I feel and write about it each day, which helps me understand myself and what I do and don’t want to do better. We may not all realize it yet, but being here for almost a month has changed us and our perspectives on healthcare and on the world."



"UPHCSA has taught me that I find problem solving, public outreach, research, and having the opportunity to interact with patients very interesting. Through the speakers I have heard, I have also learned that it is not only possible, it is a good idea to find ways to combine multiple interests to make yourself specialized and unique. Whether I combine different interests in health or health and outside interests, I do not know. But, I know that options exist and that I can use my UPHCSA contacts and new knowledge of shadowing opportunities to find the right path for me. Now, at the end of my UPHCSA experience, I am a more confident person who feels more comfortable in groups and the healthcare field. My mind is more open than it was before, and I cannot wait to keep exploring the world and find what I truly want to do with my life."



"I learned about many different types of careers that I never would have known about. I learned about all the different perspectives of healthcare. I learned that directly treating illnesses is not all that healthcare is composed of and to look at health from a public perspective. I now know that there is so much more to healthcare and without my exposure through this program I never would have known about all of these different viewpoints. This program has also taught me how to be independent through staying in a college environment. I feel this will be extremely beneficial to me, since I now have a glimpse of what a college experience is like. I have also made many friendships with my peers, that I will never forget. This program is an experience I wish I could do all over again. I was very fortunate to be a part of this program."



"I remember my narrative essay that I wrote to get into UPHCSA talks about my bad procrastination habits and how I am trying to overcome those to better myself as a person. Now, I can strongly say that I know exactly what I need to do and how to do it. Senior year, here I come and college… I am ready. We all take away different things from events, none of which are wrong or incorrect. But that’s kind of the whole point, isn’t it? What would be so fun if we all had the same experiences and takeaways from UPHCSA? That is when I came to realize that the journey, it was just a part of a bigger picture. It is a part of something we never realized we were in until now. I began to think to myself, why are we even on this journey. Yes, yes, Iknow it sounds extremely philosophical and cheesy, but it is a question worth asking! I feel like it is a crucial part of ourselves as human beings. What is the journey in the first place and what defines it? Is it our friends, families, personal incentive and motivation, or something entirely different? Well, it is all of them combined, mixed together like a mosaic picture. The journey we all go through is not a straight path, no. It cannot be described in words."




"In this environment we have been able to learn the true value of dialogue, collaborative work, and making connections. All of these engagements whether they be classical lectures, interactive sessions, or evaluative scenarios, prepared us in some form or fashion for the wonderful experiences we had shadowing medical professionals on Shadow Day."


"UPHCSA opened my eyes to a whole new world of the health field I thought I knew. I now know that I understand nothing, and that's okay. This is a constantly evolving field which makes it so exciting!"

"Overall the most important thing I learned in this program is that there are many avenues by which to impact lives of others through healthcare. I am not going to know what I want to do or specialize in for a while, but I do know more important things, such as the importance of treating patients with respect, educating those around me in order to help create a community of knowledgeable, prepared individuals, and that defending those forgotten or left behind is vital to getting treatment to all those who need it."



"UPHCSA, specifically the Blood Money simulation game, helped me realize that all patients I come in contact with will not necessarily speak English. There will be ways to get around the language barrier, but it will not be the same. Since UPHCSA I have been thinking about the importance of learning a new language so that I can communicate with my future patients. Shortly after I returned from the program, I was offered a job at the physical therapy office where I previously volunteered. An interaction with a patient who spoke Italian has reinforced the motivation found at UPHCSA to learn a new language. Thank you for everything during the program. I really am a changed person after those intense four weeks."



"The program prompted me to be open-minded and consider everything I was exposed to during the 4 weeks."

"This program prepared me to further my education, and inspired me to want to learn more, to continue saving lives in a more and more educated fashion.  I appreciate the opportunities to make decisions on our own, learning maturity and time management."

"I enjoyed absorbing all of this new material and I feel that I have learned a lot and furthered my knowledge about many different topics. I came to understand so many new things, and I now have a lot of new interests.  UPHCSA as further prepared me for my college education, and I am excited to take my newfound knowledge into a different setting.  UPHCSA was academically sound and socially interactive."



“I want to personally thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the University of Pittsburgh Health Careers Scholars Academy!  This UPHCSA program was one of the best experiences I have been a part of.  Meeting new friends and learning about the myriad of health care careers was eye opening for me.  I had such a wonderful time getting to know what a dentist, physical therapist, physician assistant, or a nurse does to name a few.  This experience helped me find out that health care is the right career for me.  Without this program, I would not feel as confident in choosing my career path in the health care field. “

“I'd just like to extend my sincerest "thank you" for what UPHCSA has done for me. Coming back from UPHCSA, I realized that there is nothing I want more than to be a doctor and now I know that I will let nothing get in the way of my achieving that goal.” 

“Now that UPHCSA is over and everyone is safely home, I just wanted to say thank you.  I’ve never attended a program like UPHCSA and the closing ceremony showed it.  I’ve never gotten so attached to a group of people that I cry when it’s over.  I know everyone else feels the same way from the emails, texts, and messages I’ve been getting.  Anyways, I just wanted to thank you for providing us with this opportunity.  Everyone appreciated it more than we expressed it and I hope that you know how much we appreciated your efforts.  UPHCSA has definitely changed me as a person.   My parents have said that I seem more mature and responsible, but at the same time, smile and laugh more.  That is what UPHCSA has done for me.  I can now look back and say that this has been the best summer of my life yet and I’ve made more friends here than I have in a lifetime.  It’s been an incredible experience and I cannot express in words, how grateful I am for this opportunity.  I’m sad to say goodbye to everyone, but I’ve made a hundred new lifetime friends and found a hundred new teachers.  Thank you for your superior efforts to run this program.  They have made all the difference to 111 students and their families. So, thank you for showing me just how much I want a future in healthcare.”

“The UPHCSA program greatly affected my life. I had such a positive living & learning experience.  The program is quite reputable and I am proud, even privileged, to have been a part of it in 2013.”



“It was an experience that definitely characterized a turning point in my life to adulthood. Always having had a weakness in going out of my shell and trying new things, the program definitely opened my eyes to a new place but also a new part of me that is comfortable with meeting new people and experiencing new things, and this truly is due to your efforts in the program.”

“In addition to providing a broad insight into many aspects of healthcare, UPHCSA also taught me valuable time management skills that continue to be beneficial in college today.  UPHCSA also confirmed my decision to pursue a career in healthcare.”

“I want to thank you for organizing UPHCSA. It definitely changed my life.  Because of UPHCSA, I was able to explore the different areas in the health care field, including areas that I do not usually hear much about, such as occupational therapy and bioengineering.  Besides the learning, UPHCSA gave me a taste of what it is like to live in the dorms and the opportunity to make new friends.  UPHCSA also provided shadow opportunities; one of them was shadowing a physical therapist, a career I was interested in.  After my shadow day was over, I realized I wanted to pursue a career as a physical therapist.”

“I would again like to thank you for making UPHCSA one of the greatest experiences of my life. I learned not only about the health care field, but about myself as a person as well. I have matured as a person and as a student throughout the program.”



“I would like to thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to attend the University of Pittsburgh Health Scholars Academy. Since my career aspiration is to go into medicine, this program really helped me learn about fields in medicine which even help maintain the health of a patient in the most subtle way.  I decided to send this email after school started so I can tell you about the ways this program has helped me in my academics. First, the Mental Health Concentration Course really helped me understand the basis of Psychology for the AP Psychology course I am taking this year. Also, I really liked my Biomedical Ethics class as it made me realize the complexity of the decisions made in medicine. John really helped me exit my comfort zone by making us place our opinions in front of other people, and to understanding both sides of each decision thoroughly.   As this program was my first summer venture away from home, I really enjoyed having the experience of dorm life early as it helped me meet new friends from other places, and helped me understand the problems of my work ethic to make my work quality better and more efficient. I cannot thank you enough for this experience. After this program I am sure to enter the medical field, and I am really interested in coming to the University of Pittsburgh to do so.  Thank you very much for this opportunity as it was a once in a lifetime program and I will always cherish they memories made there.”

“Thank you for the wonderful experience that UPHCSA 2011 gave me.”