A Community in Crisis: r/premed
by Lily Weber
With the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s becoming increasingly easy to feel disconnected from everyone and everything. My purpose in conducting this project was to examine how pre-med students felt about going into medicine in the midst of a healthcare crisis. My motivation lies in the pre-med community’s unique position of being forced to confront a reality that they may one day face in their own careers. Despite today’s increasingly virtual world, we are still finding ways to connect in online communities like that of r/premed—a section of Reddit for students in medical school. In undertaking this research I hope to both connect with my peers and spread awareness of many issues that exist in the medical community which both the pandemic and political climate have only served to highlight further. In using a virtual format to present my findings by recording video over Zoom, I think it reflects the time we are living in as well as many of the themes of my research. I hope that those who view my project come away with the understanding that the pandemic is showcasing flaws in the medical system that have existed for centuries and that will continue to exist if we do nothing to stop them.
Lily Weber is a junior studying Biology and English at Northeastern University on the pre-med track. As her major might suggest, she is passionate about both medicine and the humanities, especially reading and writing. As the COVID-19 pandemic brought her first year of college to an abrupt halt she became fascinated by how it would impact the newest generation of healthcare professionals, thereby inspiring her research on the r/premed subreddit.