Samantha Banks '15


Name: Samantha Banks

Graduating Class: 2015

Major(s)/Minor(s): Biology, Neuroscience and Religion Minors

Your Story:  My name is Samantha Banks and I am from Orono, Minnesota. My interest in medicine originated from multiple outlets. I was first interested in medicine from a young age through my father’s stories of working as a physician. I have always had a passion for the sciences and was drawn to health care as a means of dedicating my life to service. However, I came to Gustavus having no idea which field I wanted to pursue. I ultimately decided that medicine was the right path for me after a number of experiences in my first two years at Gustavus.

Shadowing different specialties, working in a spinal care clinic, and volunteering in the Mercy Hospital Emergency Department all helped me to gain exposure and insight into the different roles there are in healthcare. While at Gustavus I was able to travel to Tanzania with Cindy Johnson on a J-Term trip. This was an incredibly eye opening experience that instilled in me a desire to participate in international healthcare. I was able to return to Tanzania my senior year at Gustavus to learn and serve alongside a group of physicians and medical students which further confirmed this desire. I also believe the liberal arts education I received will help me as a physician. Medicine is a profession of science and art, and being able to study both of these at Gustavus will better prepare me to be the physician I hope to be.

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

  • J-term trips to Tanzania
  • Research experiences through the Neuroscience and Biology departments with Michael Ferragamo and Cindy Johnson
  • Gustavus Dance Team
  • Experiences shadowing, working, and volunteering in healthcare settings
  • Volunteering for non-medical organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Gustavus Ambassadors, and the Church of St. Peter. They were a great way to meet new people outside of the Pre-Med setting and have meaningful experiences!


  • Pursue non-medical interests that you enjoy! They will not only provide you an outlet, but help to keep you well-rounded.
  • This will likely be the last time you can take classes outside of the sciences, so utilize that opportunity! They will help you in medicine and life later on.
  • Do not do activities just to write them on your resume, find things that you really enjoy. You will be asked about them in interviews and if you volunteered just to put hours down, it will be evident.

Future Plans:  Attending the Creighton University School of Medicine, start Fall of 2015.

                                                                                                                                                               Updated 7/29/2015 HB