A Check-Up with Jacob Schaff

Surgeon Shadow I continue to enjoy the courses, my classmates and the exceptional faculty here at Vanderbilt. I decided to major in Chemistry, and am working to complete the pre-med curriculum. I recently learned that I was accepted for early admission to Vanderbilt Medical School, which I will enter following graduation in 2007. To help prepare, I initiated a program last summer that gave me the opportunity to shadow an orthopedic surgeon at Campbell Clinic in Memphis. Scrubbing in for orthopedic surgery allowed me to see medical applications of science and technology. I have also shadowed a pediatric surgeon and neurosurgeon, as well as accompanied doctors during patient clinical consultations.

In my spare time, I'm managing to do some volunteer work, and am an active participant in the Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Sciences. The program includes visiting Nashville middle schools and conducting science experiments. Its goal is to stimulate interest in teaching as a profession, while providing positive role models for school children.

Diverse Surroundings I believe that a multi-lingual physician, with exposure to cultural diversity, can be much more effective in today's world and meet the challenges of the future. I had an incredible opportunity to study abroad last summer at the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain. The experience of living with a host family, learning the culture of the country, and being totally immersed in the language was so enriching.

I am currently studying abroad at the Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso in Chile for the fall semester. I live with a Spanish speaking host family and take my classes in Spanish, which has made me quite fluent. I'm learning so much about the fascinating history and culture of this beautiful country, while living with the gracious, vital, and friendly people of Chile.

The Most Valuable Student scholarship enables me to attend Vanderbilt and experience these wonderful opportunities. I will continue working to represent your organization to the best of my abilities, and I thank you for helping make this possibility a reality for me.

- Jacob Schaff, 2003 Most Valuable Student Memphis, Tenn., Elks Lodge No. 2039

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