Student Profile - Abbigail Delmonte

Image of Abbigail Delmonte in scrubs in front of a poster

Abbi Delmonte '21 came to the Health Sciences as a transfer student and quickly found a home that provided her a way to combine her interests in business and health care.

Why did you choose Duquesne, and why did you choose your major?

I chose Duquesne because the moment I toured the campus I fell in love with it. I felt comfortable on the campus, and I could really see myself here. I loved how there was privacy up on the bluff, but that the city of Pittsburgh was a minute walk away. I always knew I wanted an urban campus, and I felt like Duquesne had the best of both worlds. I also knew that I wanted to go away for school, and being from Buffalo, I felt Pittsburgh was the perfect distance. I entered Duquesne as an undeclared science major, but I knew that would change because I always knew I wanted to take a more business route for undergrad, even though I wanted to go to medical school. I spoke with the advisor in the Bayer school and explained how I was aiming to pursue a business degree but still be pre health, and she suggested I take the route of the Health Administration major.

Why pick this route for med school instead of a science?

The main reason I chose this major instead of something in science was because I knew I wanted to differentiate myself from other medical school applicants. I understand that a majority of the students applying to medical school are biology, chemistry, or some sort of science major, and I didn't want to blend in in the big applicant pool. My uncle who is a successful surgeon did a similar thing as he was a finance major, so I knew it was a smart option. Additionally, I knew that the Health Administration major has great success in terms of students getting jobs right out of school. If for some reason medical school didn't work out for me, I knew I would be set up for success in a career in health administration. I have learned so much more about what the major really is and all that the business side of medicine really has to offer. I now understand how important those jobs are, and I have no doubt I would experience a fulfilling career in any of those roles if medical school were to not work out. Not that there aren't fulfilling careers for a biology or chemistry major, I just felt that I personally wouldn't feel content in that type of role.

What are your plans after graduation? Are you planning to go right to med school, or are you going to work for a while first?

After graduation, I am planning to move back home to Buffalo and take a year off. From the start, all of my advisors had suggested I take a gap year prior to going to medical school. This gap year will give me the time to beef up my resume, save money, research more, shadow, work, and gain real life experience. Having spoken to many physicians about this, they all highly recommended a gap year. It can be too daunting and difficult to go straight in, and medical schools want to see an applicant that has life experience and who is mature and ready for the road that is medical school. Therefore, I will be applying and interviewing for a year, and then, fingers crossed, will be entering medical school in the Fall of 2022.

What are your career plans, and do you feel like your education helped you to decide that, and prepare for your future?

Ultimately, I aspire to become a surgeon. I am not sure which specific specialty I want to pursue yet, but I know I have lots of time to decide that. I definitely feel as though I am prepared to be a physician, especially with the major I chose. I feel as though many physicians lack the business skills and the understanding of the importance of the back-office people. Thanks to the health administration route I took, I feel very strongly that I will not become one of those physicians. I realize the value behind ensuring my dictation is thorough for the coders, and ensuring I touch on all required things with a patient for reimbursement purposes, for example. Those are some skills many physicians don't understand the importance of, and I feel confident that Duquesne has prepared me extremely well for that.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

It's time for bigger goals
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