Empowering Future Healthcare Leaders: Women in Medicine Club Hosts Valentine’s Candle Making Event

Attendees commemorated Valentine's Day with candles, candy and chocolate | Sophia Baltodano, PantherNOW

Sophia Baltodano | Contributing Writer

The Women in Medicine organization at FIU serves as a hub for pre-med women, emphasizing a sense of camaraderie, learning, and personal growth. 

The recent social gathering on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at the Valentine’s Candle Making Event was an initiative by WIM to foster connections among members and introduce new people, including those from all majors to the organization. 

It emphasized that the journey toward a healthcare career involves not only academic pursuits but also the formation of lasting bonds with peers. 

This event marked the beginning of a tradition that brings together women with shared aspirations, providing a space to celebrate successes, share challenges, and strengthen their sense of sisterhood by coming together to make Valentine Day themed candles.

Lecture events, featuring insights from distinguished mentors, equip members with skills ranging from resume building to stress management, laying a strong foundation for their future in healthcare.

The club also hosts open workshops on critical healthcare skills, such as how to administer first aid for someone having a seizure and suturing.

Ariana Alvarez Vasquez, a senior majoring in Biological Sciences and Natural and Applied Sciences leads the Women in Medicine as its determined and passionate President.

Vasquez envisions the organization as a sisterhood specifically tailored for pre-med women who wish to help make a difference in this world by helping provide healthcare service to those in need of it. 

“The organization actively engages in the healthcare field through different methods,” Alvarez Vasquez said. 

“Participation in lecture events and social gatherings foster connections and promote networking for improved applicant and healthcare provider skills.”

Mentorship is a key component of WIM’s activities, providing guidance from experienced physicians and mentors. 

Future cardiologists got a taste for their career by making heart-shaped candles | Sophia Baltodano, PantherNOW

Events hosted by WIM like “Network Now” facilitate connections between students and established professionals, fostering a supportive community for women pursuing careers in pre-med.

Vianka Vasquez, The Vice President, a junior majoring in Biology, speaks of her experience in the club.

“It’s been great meeting so many women in my field and learning as well as sharing knowledge about the pre-med track,” Vianka Vasquez said. 

Vianka Vasquez herself has spoken on how she was brought into the world of medicine in high school and that she aspires to one day work in a hospital in her home, Puerto Rico, and how the club has helped in making this dream possible by providing work opportunities and building connections with other students.

 “This event helps set a comfortable and friendly environment for new students who aspire to join our organization and contribute to supporting women not only in medicine, but in other fields as well,” Vianka Vasquez said.

Collaborations with organizations such as Coulter Undergraduate Research (CURE), Coed Pre Health Group, and the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPHS) broaden the WIM’s reach. 

These partnerships offer diverse opportunities, allowing members to engage in clinical research and gain exposure to various facets of healthcare, as well as meet other successful women in the medical field.

As part of their philanthropic endeavors, WIM dedicates a semester to supporting the Sofia’s Hope Cancer Foundation

This commitment is reflected in fundraising initiatives, painting sessions, and donations to the foundation, highlighting the organization’s dedication to giving back to the community.

The WIM at FIU stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, mentorship, and community in shaping the future of healthcare. 

Through a supportive network, valuable resources, and opportunities for personal and professional growth, this sisterhood empowers its members to succeed academically and make a meaningful impact in the healthcare industry.

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