Rachel Scharf '15


Rachel Scharf 2015

Name: Rachel Scharf                                                           

Graduating Class: 2015

Major(s)/Minor(s): Biochemistry, Spanish Minor

Your Story:  My name is Rachel Scharf, and I am a senior at Gustavus Adolphus College. I grew up in Sartell, Minnesota.   Pursuing a medical degree was never an obvious choice for me. Growing up, my parents’ occupations had no relation to health care. As I considered my own career, I was determined to obtain a professional degree related to science and become a well-respected individual in my field. Through shadowing and volunteer experiences, that aspiration translated into my mission to become a physician.

My interest in health care first developed when I began as a volunteer at the St. Cloud Hospital, but my exposure to the science curriculum at Gustavus was when I specifically became interested in medicine. I discovered a passion for the sciences, especially topics pertaining to human health. Without any family connections to medicine, I personally sought out opportunities to shadow physicians in the St. Cloud area. I observed various specialties and learned about life as a physician.

In addition to my interest in medicine, I am also passionate about learning the Spanish language. In the future, I aspire to serve my community by providing affordable and culturally appropriate health care for underserved populations.

Top Five Activities/Experiences: (in no particular order)

  • Learning to Serve Trip to Petatlán, Mexico
  • Volunteering for the YWCA program, Girls on the Run
  • Pre-Medicine Shadowing Program at the St. Cloud Hospital
  • Volunteering at the Mayo Clinic Health Systems Mankato in the Emergency Department
  • J-term in Costa Rica


  • Learn to balance all aspects of your life. A solid performance in your classes and on the MCAT is important, but how can we encourage our patients to live healthy and balanced lifestyles in the future if we cannot do so ourselves?
  • Enjoy all that Gustavus has to offer! Pursue a minor degree outside of the sciences or join a club that reflects one of your other interests.
  • To be competitive with other applicants, submit your application in early June and return secondaries as timely as possible. This will make a big difference when it becomes interview season. With rolling admissions, submitting early = better chance of acceptance.
  • Use summers and J-terms to shadow as much as possible. During interviews, it is important to demonstrate knowledge of the medical field by sharing stories from your shadowing experiences.


Future Plans:

Attending the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, start Fall of 2015.