Zoma Qurashi (Philadelphia High School for Girls) spent her summer as a research assistant at the Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Through an internship at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Manor College senior Zoma Qurashi saw how cancer rips through someone’s life. The diagnosis changes the lives of patients and those closest to them. Some struggled through mental health issues. Others hid the diagnosis from loved ones.
“It’s pretty hard seeing cancer spread to other parts of a patient’s body,” Qurashi said. “Cancer isn’t always the result of poor life choices, it can be genetic. Seeing the struggles of patients can be disheartening.”
Even with its tough moments, Qurashi’s experience opened her eyes to a healthcare career.
“This internship not only enhanced my skills in the medical field, but it’s helped me grow as a human being,” Qurashi said. “The field is so vast and there are many careers as the demand for medical professionals grows. This internship only reinforced my desire to be part of the field.”
Qurashi became interested in healthcare while taking courses at Manor College.
“I enjoy learning about the human body,” Qurashi said. “It’s amazing to see how it works and how far we’ve come with medicine and technology,” Qurashi said.
At the internship, Qurashi reached out to and screened patients who were eligible for cancer studies. The studies included testing a developmental product and interviewing them about their experiences.
One moment showcases Qurashi’s love for the field. While looking up a patient’s file, she came across unfamiliar medical terminology. She looked up the terms, but found herself in a rabbit hole of research about different cancers.
“After a few minutes, I started talking to a coworker about the research,” Qurashi said. “We sat there, discussing and researching more to get an answer to my question,” Qurashi said. “That’s when I thought, ‘Wow, this is great. I like learning and I want to keep learning.’”
Qurashi grew up in Northeast Philadelphia. She discovered Manor College after two older sisters attended the institution. Manor was attractive for its affordability and short commute. Once she arrived for her first classes, she discovered why her sisters raved about Manor.
“Manor sticks out because it’s willing to give students a chance, always,” Qurashi said. “Manor takes into consideration that not everyone went to a prestigious high school, aced the SATs or even earned the best grades. Our motto is You Belong Here and it genuinely feels that way.”