Catchin' Up With a Cookie: Sarah Schwab
2018 Undergraduate Transfer Scholar, 2023 Graduate Scholar, University of California San Diego School of Medicine
Sarah is a first-year medical student at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Hoping to help people in her community and beyond, Sarah is deeply involved with organizations like the UCSD Student Run Free Clinic and believes that through service she can make a positive impact on at least one person per day. With the support of the foundation, Sarah has been able to thrive in college, attaining a bachelor’s in Chemistry and Biochemistry from UC San Diego in 2021. Outside of school, Sarah is a waterwoman; her favorite activities include surfing, swimming, and sailing. She also enjoys playing music with her family and relaxing with her dog, Anacletus.
WHAT DOES BEING A COOKE SCHOLAR MEAN TO YOU?
I have this really funny metaphor in my mind of a trampoline.
Being a Cooke Scholar is like being a strong thread woven with the threads of other Cooke Scholars. As a community, we form a cohesive fabric, like that of a trampoline. This trampoline represents our collective strength where we as a community can unite and help propel Scholars and students towards their dreams.
When I first joined the Cooke Community, I experienced the unwavering and uplifting support of many Cooke Scholars and staff, who tirelessly helped me get to where I am today. Now as a Cooke Graduate Scholar it is my turn to be a supportive force, helping other Cooke Scholars dream bigger and jump higher.
TELL US ABOUT A MEMORABLE MOMENT IN UNDERGRAD OR GRADUATE SCHOOL.
I recently started my MD at UC San Diego. One tradition that most medical schools partake in is the White Coat Ceremony. Some backstory – I was born and raised in San Diego. Most of my family is here, I went to community college here, did my undergrad at UC San Diego, and decided to stay in San Diego for my MD. So naturally – I invited my whole community to the ceremony including neighbors, friends, loved ones. It was funny because most of my family had never stepped foot on UCSD’s campus even though they are from San Diego. Anyways, when I was on that stage and had my whole family out in the crowd, along with my Cooke community watching me from the webcast, I finally felt like everything I dreamed of had come true. I remember just starting out at community college and now, 8 years later, I was being handed a white coat, with everyone who loved me watching, and some of my most beloved mentors from the UCSD Free Clinic like Dr. Johnson and Dr. Rodriguez on stage with me. It was a moment I will never forget.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU DID TO HELP TRANSITION TO YOUR FIRST YEAR OUT OF COLLEGE?
I took a vacation outside California for the first time in my life. After college, I felt burnt-out, not ready to continue with my studies, and just overall tired. My childhood friend living in Rochester, NY graciously let me stay with her and took time off so that we could adventure together. For the first time in about 6 years, I was not in school, and it was nice to experience this freedom from academia while also being in nature away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. For me, the time I spent there was like a reset button, I felt a little less stressed about my future and a little more in tune with me. Also, being away from my everyday life gave me an opportunity to take time and evaluate what I wanted to do with my life. I learned a lot from that experience and now prioritize traveling to my friends and family around the world so I can spend time with people I love and escape into nature with them.
WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ, MOVIE/SHOW YOU WATCHED, OR PODCAST YOU LISTENED TO THAT YOU REALLY ENJOYED AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED?
I highly recommend “The Invention of Surgery” by David Schneider. I think the title says it all, but I really liked reading about the tumultuous history behind medical schools and how they obtained anatomical models (cadavers).
IF YOU WERE TO CREATE YOUR OWN COOKIE, WHAT WOULD IT CONSIST OF AND WHAT NAME WOULD YOU GIVE IT?
I love gardening and my mulberry tree and loquat tree have been growing mad fruit this year (thank you rain). We made a bunch of jams, so I would probably make a shortbread cookie with mulberry and loquat jam on top. I’d call this cookie a “San Diego Summer” cookie.