University of Pittsburgh

Student Profiles

Lorraine Boakye, Class of 2016

HOMETOWN: Englewood, NJ


BACKGROUND: Yale University, Class of 2011, BA History


WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PITT MED?: Despite losing a shoe after a run-in with one of Scaife’s many escalators and getting caught in a Pittsburgh-style surprise thunderstorm, my interview day at PittMed was by far my favorite. PittMed stood out as an innovative, collaborative and diverse place to study medicine. Dr. Alicia Skarimbas, my primary care physician at home in New Jersey and a Pitt alumna, reaffirmed my notion as she fondly recounted the institution’s ability to bring together students with totally distinct interests yet a similar flair with which they approach their passions. Our relationship typifies the Pitt tradition of encouraging its students to uniquely channel their interests to advance the practice of medicine with every patient interaction. The range of resources at PittMed has enabled me to thread my specific interests throughout my first year. Through activities like the Sports Medicine Mini-Elective, I am able to appreciate the clinical applications of much of what I’ve learned in the past months. Unique extracurricular and community service initiatives grant first-hand experience caring for the underserved which definitely underscores the value of addressing much more than the medical aspects of a patient’s history. PittMed has certainly lived up to my expectations and I am excited to find even more models of all the ways to be successful here.


FAVORITE COURSE AT PITT MED: Micro! The course simultaneously validated my seemingly irrational fears and created some fears unforeseen. The sheer volume of information to be tackled forced me to become more efficient as I studied. I changed the way I approached the material so that I could grasp the big picture while retaining the finer detail. After taking micro I feel much better suited to answer my family’s questions regarding medical concerns that start with “So you’re almost a doctor right?” A solid foundation in micro has also proven beneficial in other courses and while shadowing as the material continues to pop-up.


FAVORITE FOOD IN SCAIFE CAFETERIA: Chicken tenders, macĀ  & cheese, tomato soup.


FAVORITE MEMORY OF PITT MED: Celebrating the end of the first course with my classmates.




FAVORITE PLACE IN PITTSBURGH: Anywhere with a good view of the city.


WHAT DID YOU DO DURING THE SUMMER AFTER YOUR MS-1 YEAR? I did research in orthopedics at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. I worked on both basic science and clinical projects while also shadowing in clinic and the operating room. I gave case presentations of the day’s upcoming surgeries and presented pertinent literature during journal club. It was a great opportunity to be exposed to the multiple elements of an academic practice in orthopedics that focuses on providing evidence-based medicine. I was able to see just how my research applied to a clinical setting. I’ve learned invaluable skills that will surely impact how I approach not only the rest of my education but also my future career. My mentor was truly encouraging and supportive while providing a constant push to do better with time.


FAVORITE PLACE TO STUDY: PBL rooms with the dividers open, anywhere with a chalkboard, a study table on the first floor of the library.


FAVORITE THING TO DO WHEN NOT STUDYING: Exercise (pick up basketball, Nike Training Club, Bikram Yoga), explore Pittsburgh, catch up on sleep and/or go out with friends.


Our Mission

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is to improve the health and well-being of individuals and populations through cutting-edge biomedical research, innovative educational programs in medicine and biomedical science, and leadership in academic medicine.