By Chloe Lessard

I stood at the side of the anesthesiologist and peeked over the sterile sheet at the head of the patient. On either side of the draped table, surgical residents meticulously sutured the small incisions they had made for a minimally invasive gallbladder removal. All that remained was to bring the patient to the recovery room and ensure the healing process went smoothly.

The next day, I hovered over the soundboard in the campus radio station’s Studio B with my cohost. Over the rhythms of bossanova, we went on air and described the playlist featured on our international music show. The week prior, we had done a Japanese electronic/jazz show, and Sweden would be the following week’s focus.

I never would have imagined that my time down at the radio station would begin to mingle with my experience as a pre-medical undergraduate at UC Davis. I had felt as if parts of my life as a student were just too different and challenging to juggle, and I’m sure many of you have felt the same way. But this past summer, I decided to stick around Davis and brave the heat, alternating my time between shadowing surgeons in the operating room as a participant in the UCD Pre-Medical Surgical Internship program and preparing to take on the role as Public Affairs Director at KDVS.

Though I was thrilled by the prospect of having my own talk show, I just could not find a subject that I wanted to speak about on the air. I was stumped.

Shadowing in the operating room one shift, I met a third year medical student with a history of radio. I invited him to appear on my first talk show to discuss the doctor-patient relationship, a variety of ethical issues in medicine, and his experiences as an MSIII. The conversation was a little uncomfortable at first. Intimidated by his ease of informative and engaging conversation, I was concerned that keeping up with his scientific banter would be difficult. Yet as the show progressed, my responses became less succinct and reserved. The clock on our soundboard began to fade from my primary focus as I was drawn further into the conversation. Left with an unanticipated thrill radiating through me, I determined that I could not wait to interview future guests as well.

I started finding opportunities to interview a myriad of individuals associated with the medical field, from professors to nonprofit organization directors to students involved in UCD health clubs. My knowledge of health care policy, public health issues, and contemporary research has grown immensely, and what do you know? I found a theme for my radio show that worked beautifully, all while learning more about my own medical path.


Here is a link to my show page if you are interested in learning more:

“In a Heartbeat” airs from 5:00-6:00PM every other Monday on 90.3 FM KDVS. You can easily tune in online or with our new smartphone application and support freeform radio, a place open to all student volunteers. We are located in Lower Freeborn Hall, right by the Coho (AKA our secret hideout), so drop by! I’ll likely be editing in our back studio or working in our lounge.

KDVS has granted me the opportunity to express myself and learn in ways I never imagined outside the classroom. On a campus full of outstanding opportunities and activities, I found my vibe and hope to stick with it. If you want to keep supporting opportunities for students like KDVS, check out the fundraiser happening this week at our fundraising website.

For aspiring pre-meds, I highly recommend applying for this UCD internship program. Physiology lessons definitely came in handy while observing surgical procedures – I actually recognized a few things! More information can be found at:

A quote I found scrawled across a nurse’s chalkboard in the UC Davis Medical Center the other day: “Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work”. I found this expression only too relatable and certainly worthwhile for college students to remember.

Editor’s note: KDVS is “celebrating 50 years of homegrown radio” during the station’s annual fundraiser. You can listen to the fundraiser on the air and online from Monday through Sunday, April 21-27.