COSAM Leader Wants to Make a Difference in Healthcare
Auburn University senior Isabella Aldana is following in her parents’ footsteps in becoming a doctor.
Isabella is a senior studying biomedical sciences with a pre-med concentration in the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) and said while growing up she considered other professions, but always came back to healthcare.
“I grew up in the world of healthcare,” she said. “And I knew I wanted to do something where I could make a difference.”
Isabella is originally from Birmingham, and said she didn’t plan to stay in the state for college, but she fell in love with Auburn.
“When I came to visit I saw the atmosphere and how friendly the people were … I just really felt at home,” she said. “Transitioning from being at home to college, I wanted somewhere I thought I would be comfortable.”
Isabella has been accepted, with a scholarship, to the University of Alabama School of Medicine. She said she hasn’t decided which specialty she will pursue, but her interests include radiology, pediatrics and obstetrics-gynecology. OB/GYN wasn’t a path she considered until a shadowing experience with a doctor.
“I honestly loved it,” she said of the experience. “We were running from the clinic back to the hospital and I really liked the hustle and bustle of it. I really liked always being busy and I also loved seeing the doctor interact with all of her patients. It was just a very loving and encouraging environment.”
While at Auburn, Isabella has been a member of COSAM’s Alpha Epsilon Delta and was an Auburn University Be the Creed Award nominee, which recognizes Auburn students who exemplify the values of the Auburn Creed. She is also a COSAM Leader.
“I love that we get to form relationships with the staff and faculty and the aspect of getting to meet alumni and prospective students,” Isabella said of being a COSAM Leader. “I’m definitely a people person, so just being able to form all of those relationships has been nice. Being a student you don’t always get to have that opportunity, but being a COSAM Leader you do.”
In her free time, Isabella volunteers at the Esperanza House, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for Hispanic children and families. Isabella’s parents are originally from Colombia, so she was raised bilingual. Her volunteer work includes tutoring third and fourth grade boys.
“That’s been really fun just because a lot of them are just now learning English,” she said. “Being able to talk to them in Spanish, or helping translate from Spanish to English, to help them understand kind of allows me to get to know them on a deeper level. Then they become more trusting of me and they’re more comfortable and we’re able to do the homework more easily.”
Isabella said one aspect of being a COSAM student that has stood out to her is the support she has felt from her peers.
“There’s such a fellowship here in COSAM and I think it’s unparalleled when you compare it to the other colleges,” she said. “We really all support each other and encourage each other. When it comes to academics it’s really important having that support group. I think that’s been part of my success here at COSAM is having those peers that are always encouraging and supportive.”
She added that she feels that being a COSAM student has given her the edge to do well in the next chapter of her education.
“Even though med school is still hard, I know that Auburn has given me the materials and the knowledge to succeed,” she said.