STS is another route to med school

The Science, Technology, and Society major is an interdisciplinary program in which students are encouraged to take classes in the sciences, social sciences and humanities.
Travis Ryan, STS interim director, said the program has mostly grown from having students already at Butler looking for another major, coming from mostly the sciences—biology and chemistry—and the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
“They recognize that science is important, but they’re not interested in what’s required to generate the new information,” Ryan said. “They’re more interested in ‘So what do we do when we have this information?’”
Ryan said biology is not a sure route to medical school and may not even be the best route.
“If you look at what the medical schools say, they are looking for students who have had this series of classes but are well rounded academically, and I think that that’s one of the things that the STS program can really provide—a broad range of approaches to science that might serve them better to get to med school than the nuts-and-bolts stuff,” Ryan said.
Carol Reeves, director of STS from 2006 to 2011, said several STS students attended medical school after graduating. Reeves also said students go into many areas of health and environmental career paths after graduating with an STS degree.
“I think it’s so cool when students, at the end of a whole year of STS classes, can say, ‘Oh my goodness, everything connects,’” Reeves said.
Reeves said STS students have a different type of expertise.
“They’re actually learning how the different disciplines think and how the different disciplines make knowledge,” Reeves said.
Senior Jessica Strong switched from pharmacy to STS after taking a year-and-a-half of coursework. She decided she wanted to go to physical therapy school and to keep all her credits without starting over.
“You can do a lot with it,” Strong said. “That’s the thing I think people just don’t understand: What you can do with it? It’s great for pre-graduate studies because you can count all of your prerequisites for those grad schools toward your major.”
Terri Lee graduated in 2011 with an STS degree. She originally started out pharmacy and switched to STS her junior year after talking to Reeves about what else was available.
Lee worked with AmeriCorps VISTA, a national service program that is designed to fight poverty in the United States, the first year after graduating. As a VISTA member, Lee worked full time at a nonprofit organization to improve health services for disadvantaged populations and was placed at the Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis. There, she worked on creating a program to engage African American churches in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the African American community.
Lee is now pursuing her masters of health at Indiana University.
“STS offers you a lot of opportunities,” Lee said, “and opens a lot of doors.”

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