Resilient chemistry major on fast path toward medical school

Daniel Vann-Victorino’s ’17 pursuit of medical school is a team effort at Dominican.

Since he was young, the chemistry major in the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics knew that a career in medicine was his destiny. His grandmother is still a nurse. His mother works as a pathology clerk. They have had a great influence on him.

“I kind of grew up in a hospital,” Daniel says.

Daniel’s dream of going to med school has been fueled at Dominican by the support he has received from faculty, mentors, and peers. He has been resilient

Currently, Daniel is shadowing a Kaiser Permanente physician after being accepted into the Dominican Kaiser Permanente Scholar Mentors Program. The mentorship program provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to see firsthand the responsibility and role of a physician. The program is designed to advance interest in primary care and surgical medicine while encouraging each student to truly excel in their pre-med work.

Last semester, Daniel received through Dominican’s Careers and Internships Services an Enterprise Internship Grant* after completing an internship last summer at the Advanced Surgery Medical Center in Salinas. He was able to shadow a handful of doctors, including anesthesiologists, nurses, and an urologist. He observed a lipectomy, cystoscopy, and carpal tunnel surgeries.

“The internship solidified what I wanted to do, which is to help people in ways they can’t help themselves,” Daniel says.

In addition, Daniel supplemented his 24-hour-a-week internship experience in Salinas by taking a phlebotomy training course in San Jose. His goal is to become certified so he can work in the field before taking the MCATs and applying to medical schools. Daniel’s top choices for med school are UC Davis, UCSF, UC Riverside, UCLA, and Arizona’s Mayo Clinic.

Daniel credits the time he spent in Dominican’s Torch Leadership Program for helping develop his intellectual skills. He particularly appreciates the support of its director, Dr. Henry Shreibman.

“Dr. Shreibman changed my perspective on a lot of things. My perspective had a lot to do with happiness,” Daniel says. “I’m happy now. I’m living life.”

“If I look at myself as a freshman and look at myself now, I’m completely different,” Daniel says. “I measure my success by how much I learn as opposed to what my grades are because I like to challenge myself. I don’t like easy things. It takes the fun out of it.”

*Both Dominican University and Daniel would like to thank Enterprise Rent-A-Car for their donation which helped support him during the internship.


December 12, 2016