Journey to Medical School


Aanie Phillips, BS Bioengineering 2019, a pre-med bioengineering student with a concentration in cell and tissue engineering, chose her field based on her love of math and science and the possibility of becoming a physician.

“In the back of my head, I always knew that I wanted to be a doctor, so I chose bioengineering because I felt like that would be the engineering discipline most applicable to medicine,” she said.

Phillips’ co-ops have been a monumental part of her experience at Northeastern and crucial for navigating her career path. On her first co-op, she was a clinical assistant at a physician’s private practice in Texas, working to meet the clinical experience requirement for her medical school application, which she submitted the summer after her third year.

She appreciated the opportunity to have a clinical hands-on experience as opposed to passive shadowing. During her time at the practice, she assumed a range of responsibilities such as checking patients in, taking vital signs, and contacting insurance companies.

“[I got to see] firsthand what a doctor’s office was like and how that ran; working there solidified my intentions of going to medical school,” she said.

Phillips’ second co-op brought her to the teledentistry company, virtudent, as their mechanical and operations engineer, where she maintained the portable dental offices that dental hygienists use to perform routine dental hygiene and preventative care. She made sure the hygienists had everything they needed to see patients, combining her interests in engineering and the healthcare system.

“I wanted to see how engineering plays a role in the field of healthcare,” she said.

On campus, Phillips advanced her experiential learning as well, participating in research projects focused on single cell proteomics as well as the degeneration of retinal cells.

Phillips took on a number of roles at Northeastern as well, from involvement in the engineering and pre-health honors societies on campus to being a teaching assistant for the Cornerstone of Engineering course. During her final semester, she served as Activities Chair for her sorority, Sigma Kappa. Her extensive involvement on campus as well as dedication to classes helped her to develop communication skills to apply off-campus.

Phillips’ received various scholarships and awards throughout her time in college for her academic success and engineering achievements, such as the President’s Award for her high rank in her class and the Shillman Scholarship for her achievements in the College of Engineering. As she prepares to take the next step, she has already received several acceptances from medical schools, including a full ride to one of her top choices.

Related Departments:Bioengineering