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Ece Unal

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Ece is the first in her family to be educated in the United States. She received her undergraduate B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania, dual majoring in Biology and Nutrition Science. She was one of four students in the inaugural class to first graduate with the Nutrition Science major. During her undergraduate years, she conducted laboratory sciences workshops with high school students in low-budget school systems, taught CPR to family and friends of patients with cardiovascular risk factors, and was very involved in volunteerism through her sorority Chi Omega. She worked in a federal multi-center research study aiming to improve colorectal cancer screening on a national level. After graduating in 2017, she took a gap year to conduct clinical research in colorectal cancer and surgery before starting medical school at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in 2018. She was most involved in volunteering at JeffHOPE, student-run medical free clinics in shelters in Philadelphia. She also realized her passion for medical education through this, starting in the inaugural medical education research tract and created a nutrition module education for patients undergoing radiation for breast cancer. Ece was recently selected to be a part of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, a nationwide medical honor society centering on humanism and compassion in medicine. Talk to Ece about taking a gap year, volunteerism in medical school and undergraduate, and being first in the family in medicine/studying in the US.

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