Unlike other on campus fraternities, Phi Delta Epsilon focuses specifically on uniting aspiring physicians and doctors and aiding them on their journey to becoming a prestigious medical practitioner. The students selected to join the fraternity are among some of the most well-rounded pre-med students that UMBC has to offer.
Raymond Bascal, a sophomore biology and Spanish major, is one of the pre-meds new to the fraternity. “The primary reason I joined is because like everyone else in the fraternity, I want to be a doctor when I grow up,” said Bascal. “I wanted to be surrounded by by people with the same drive, passion, and goals as myself. That’s what I saw in the people at PhiDE.”
As Bascal holds Phi Delta Epsilon in high regards, he has the same hopes that the fraternity will help him reach great heights. Bascal said, “I think being a part of Phi Delta Epsilon will greatly improve my chances of getting into a good medical school and succeeding as a doctor in the future.” This opportunity is extremely important for Bascal, who is an immigrant and the first of his family to go through the American educational process. To him, Phi Delta Epsilon is a special group that will achieve his goals.
What makes Phi Delta Epsilon so special? To find out, we talked to Ally Yang, the president of the medical fraternity. From the beginning of the selection process, it is already evident that Phi Delta Epsilon expects a lot from its members. “We do have a 3.0 GPA requirement, but our average chapter GPA is a lot higher,” said Yang. “However, that doesn’t mean 4.0 GPA guarantees membership. It’s about who you are as a person and what values you live by.”
Yang continued by explaining the importance of character in Phi Delta Epsilon, stating that their “motto is Facta non Verba, deeds not words. We have five big qualities that we look for: Integrity, Passion, Talent, Dedication and Leadership.” Yang also emphasized the importance of having aspiring doctors as members. “We are not pre-dental, pre-health, pre-pharmacy anything. We are medical fraternity, so we hold you to the same expectation. There’s a reason why we have a national statistic of 92 percent of PhiDEs getting into medical school.”
While Phi Delta Epsilon may be different to other fraternities and sororities, it does bear many similarities to them. “We do not have a pledge process. However, I do believe that as a fraternity, we are very similar to other fraternities and sororities, we do have a big/little system along with families,” said Yang. She continued, “We do have big/little week first week of March, and mandatory social for all families after the reveal. You do get letters and we have an initiation ceremony where you get your PhiDE pins. Only difference is that we are a co-ed fraternity.”
Additionally, membership to Phi Delta Epsilon extends beyond undergrad. “We were founded at a medical school as a social fraternity, which means that your membership continues when you get to medical school and after,” said Yang.
As new members get settled into Phi Delta Epsilon, it is clear that UMBC and the medical fraternity have an abundance of medical talent just waiting to go out and contribute to our society.