Meet Sofia

Art Meets Medicine

Sofia Sandoval (BA '17)

Studio arts and natural science may not seem like two majors that go hand in hand, but to Sofia Sandoval, they formed a perfect combination: a combination that led her to Harvard Medical School, where she will begin her studies in the fall of 2017.

“Ever since I was young, I’ve always had a deep passion for art and expressing myself through art,” says Sandoval. “As I got older, I began to realize that I was also very interested in helping others and wanted to devote my life to service for others. I began looking into careers that would allow me to do that, yet also allowed versatility in what my ‘job’ would actually look like. That’s when I decided that I wanted to be a pediatric reconstructive surgeon.”

“When I came to college, I started taking the art classes that I loved and thought about how they could help me become a better doctor one day. And then it hit me: A surgeon is but an artist with a scalpel, and the human body is a canvas. I began to look at degree options that would have me take premedicine classes but also allow me to take other classes I was interested in.”

The dual major allowed her to complete the science courses required for medical school, while also pursuing the art classes that interested her—she even completed a minor in French, a summer study abroad program in Nantes, France, and was a resident assistant and tutor. The ability to tailor her education to meet both her needs and interests is what Sandoval calls the “absolute best benefit” of Pitt. 

“I began school thinking that I would try to get done as soon as I could. Yet throughout my time here at Pitt, I’ve realized that I want to take a lot more risks and opportunities to truly enrich my education, and in the end help me be a better doctor,” she says.