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No barriers will stop this aspiring physician

On an ordinary Thursday night, Emily Pollack can be found at home doing homework while watching her favorite television show, Grey’s Anatomy.

As an FAU biology major intending to go to medical school, Pollack admires Katherine Heigl’s character on the ABC hit show. Heigl plays a surgical resident named Isabel “Izzy” Stevens.

“She’s so beautiful and intelligent and no one ever thinks she knows her stuff, but she does,” Pollack says. “I love her for that.”

As an aspiring pediatric orthopedist, Pollack has a lot of respect for women who break barriers in the science world.

“I have been told by many male doctors that I should do an easier ‘lifestyle’ profession,” she says. “So any woman in a ‘non-lifestyle’ profession who is breaking barriers, I admire.”

Pollack has learned from “Izzy” and from her family that hard work and ambition lead to success. She balances her life with various activities that contribute to her personal and academic ambiance. Her average week consists of class and lab work, Student Government responsibilities as the Rules and Policies chair, Peer Education tutoring and Jewish Student Union meetings.

Pollack credits her upbringing in Chicago for her outlook. She attended parochial schools almost all her life, along with an all-girl’s high school. Her conservative Midwestern lifestyle, along with the support of her family, has instilled the backbone for her current success.

“I think we have all learned a lot from each other,” she says. “I’m used to being the one my younger brothers and their friends come to for help with school and guidance.”

That support and guidance has transferred to her life in Student Government.

After losing the election for speaker of the House earlier this fall, along with her loss for the pro-tempore position, Pollack was sad but not discouraged.

“I am a very passionate person and I really wanted the positions,” she says. “But I also knew that I can still do whatever I wanted and I don’t need the title to do the big things that I want to do.”

After the recent elections, she shared her knowledge of Student Government with the new members of the House, answering their questions about the governmental process.

Her humble demeanor helped her accept her role among this year’s representatives. As the Rules and Policies chair, she fills the unpopular position that deals with rules, absences, impeachments and behavior.

“When the speaker went to appoint me to Ways and Means, I took it. However, no one wanted Rules and Policies, so I offered to take it,” she recalls. “It doesn’t matter which position I take. I just want jobs to get done. If it means having to do the job no one wants, I’ll do it.”

Pollack, a slim brown-eyed brunette, hopes her biggest accomplishment so far is being a good leader and inspiring other House members to learn and do well in their respective positions.

“It’s not about the position I hold, or about the small things. I want to impact people’s lives,” she says.

Student Government adviser Rivka Felsher says that Pollack is one of the best assets of government. In the face of her two election losses, Felsher describes Pollack as having a “huge leadership quality.”

Her leadership skills, along with her ability to overcome adversity, helps her conquer what she says is her biggest life obstacle.

“I have been very lucky. But, I have a fear of failing, of not accomplishing my million tasks,” she says. “I just have to get over it and do it. There’s nothing holding me back but me.”

As the 19-year-old junior looks forward to graduation and the start of medical school, she dreams of a happy life “full of medical drama” and shared moments with friends and family.

“I don’t know what the future holds, but I can’t wait to find out,” she says. “I hope it’s all good, but I’ll take the bad, too. It will just shape me into a stronger person.”




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