Spotlight on Warrick Sahene ‘18 (B.S.) ’19 (M.S.)

By Julia Sexton ’21 (Biochemistry)

Mentor Extraordinaire 

Warrick Sahene has been mentoring and inspiring UVM-ers ever since he arrived on campus as a first-year student in Fall of 2014. We are lucky that he chose to remain a Catamount for medical school: He is now an “MS1” at Larner College of Medicine (LCOM).  

The story starts… 

…in New Zealand where Warrick was born, the son of Ghanaians. When he was nine, his family immigrated to New Jersey. He began volunteering in his local hospital while in middle school. In high school, he became certified as an EMT and began riding with the local ambulance crew. 

Why UVM? 

Warrick was mainly considering colleges that were within the Tri-State Region. It was his AP Biology teacher — a proud UVM alum — who pushed him to apply here, and he is grateful she did. He is quick to say yes when she invites him back to his high school to talk with her current students about his journey. 

Why Medicine?  

Warrick is drawn to medicine because of its focus on both science and people. He sees   incredible versatility in the career, from direct impact on individuals, to community engagement and outreach, to public and/or global health impact, to participation in clinical research.  

Path to Medical School  

At UVM, Warrick majored in neuroscience and was an Honors College Scholar. Research was a priority. He was involved in several projects and was selected for the Summer Neuroscience Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SNURF) and University of Michigan’s summer SMART Program.  He earned an MS in Pharmacology in 2019.  

Outside of academics, Warrick was busy! Alternative Spring Break was an every-year commitment for him, as both a participant and a Site Leader. He worked for the Career Center as a Career Peer Mentor for two years, assisting students as they prepared to apply for jobs and grad school. One of his most impactful roles was as the President of MAPS (Minority Association of Premedical Students). As an African American man, whose identity is not well represented in the field of medicine, Warrick is committed to helping peers connect with mentors. Through his involvement in MAPS, he was able to find a local and national network of medical students/physicians of color. 

After completing his master’s degree, Warrick took advantage of an “opportunity” year before applying to medical school.  He worked as a medical assistant and continued to stay involved in research. He was excited to receive multiple offers of admission to medical school and yet chose to stay at UVM, where he continues to build on the strong relationships he has developed here. After finishing up his first semester at Larner, he reports that medical school is not exactly what he expected it to be. “You can’t imagine the volume of work until you’re actually in med school, but the material is amazing!” As a current member of LCOM’s Student Council, he also takes advantage of opportunities to stay involved in student life. He is impressed with the degree of camaraderie he’s witnessed at Larner, with classmates eager to share resources and help each other succeed.  

Outside of School: 

Warrick is a people person who loves interacting with others. Hosting potluck dinners is a favorite way to gather with friends (when social distancing allows). He also loves to try new things.  Last winter, he began learning how to snowboard and looks forward to taking it up again this season. 

Advice to Others 

In a nutshell:   

  • Reach out to advisors early and often 
  • When difficulties arise, don’t struggle silently 
  • Keep your mind open to a variety of career options 
  • Acknowledge that the path to becoming a physician is long, challenging, and expensive – the motivation to persevere ideally comes from a deep desire to be part of a profession whose overriding goal is to help others
  • Find a mentor and be a mentor 

“Meet” other inspiring UVM alums by accessing UVMConnect.  Alums make great mentors.

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