Sana Murtaza Bhalli
"Explore your options and continue to work towards your passion."
Ms. Sana Murtaza Bhalli is an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is pursuing her degree in Integrated Health Sciences with a minor in Nutrition and will graduate in fall 2022. Sana's goal is to have a career in nursing, and her research interest focuses on community health, working with underserved populations worldwide. She was part of the Summer Health Professions Education Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center at Omaha in the summer of 2021.
Sana Murtaza Bhalli
What path did you take when you first started college?
I was pre-med when I started my first year at UIC. After getting into the pre-medical association and part of the health navigator program, I realized medicine is not for me. There are many health careers that I can pursue and help people.
What led to your interest in a health profession?
I want to be a doctor because it is the best and highest pursuit of a life’s work for someone who loves solving problems, relating to, and being encompassed by stories of humanity, and is a curious interrogator of data, being there in their tough times. That is who I am. My dad has had diabetes for the last 25 years. As a diabetic patient, your visual, audio, and weight affect. It damages the brain too. So that’s how I want to come into healthcare. Help people from low-income families and make sure they have affordable options when buying or insuring for medicines.
Who are what inspired you?
My family inspires me. Also waking up every day motivates me to learn and change in a positive way.
What surprised you the most about graduate/health professional school?
When I was learning about medical school, it was very competitive, and you had to do a lot of schooling. I was new to the country, and it was not like this in our country.
How did SHPEP influence you?
First, I would like to thank Niran and Sonja, who always ensured that scholars have access to all the resources they want for the program. Sonja for arranging all the presenters and faculty members who took their summertime to participate in the SHPEP program with UNMC and educate all the scholars nationwide. Also, a big thank you to all faculty staff members and advisors who choose to be in this program every summer or come as a guest to help future healthcare scholars to achieve their goals. Thank you to our Student Advisory Board (SAB), who make our internship experience memorable with different activities done at opening and closing. Lastly, my incredible team, TEAM 9 Vitals, I am sure everyone has group member experience, and I would say that in the last six weeks, this was not a group with TO THE POINT talks. They are more like my family; we had so much fun in our talking circles, had experienced sharing a part of each other’s lives, and if you are not ready for the morning, then Ergine will put a beautiful smile on your face, and you will be ready for your day. Grace, you were a fantastic leader and will be in the future too.
Did you have experiences or mentors that prepared you for a career as health professional?
Yes, I was part of America Needs You for two years. They assigned us to mentors, and I am still in touch with my mentor. They help me get into the SHPEP program.
What is the best career advice you have received?
Based on my personality, many people tell me to become a psychologist or psychiatrist. My advisors told me to become PA or pharmacist.
What advice do you have for students pursuing a health professional career?
Explore your options and continue to work towards your passion. It’s ok if you want to take a break but continue your journey as long as you are healthy with yourself.