Hometown: Bethesda, MD
Undergraduate: BS in Chemistry, The College of William and Mary
Graduate: Certificate in Human Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you came to Drexel?
Before Drexel, I was a medical assistant for a general surgery practice in Washington, DC. During the pandemic, I volunteered as an EMT in my small town near Shenandoah National Park. It has been humbling to serve my community through this last year, and it validated my passion for medicine.
In undergrad, I was a three-season Division I track and field athlete for The College of William and Mary. During my time as a competitive athlete, I suffered many injuries, but they ultimately strengthened my interest in medicine.
What drew you to medicine in general, and to the College of Medicine specifically?
Growing up, I would listen to my mother, an internal medicine physician, talk about her day treating patients; I was drawn to her sense of purpose and care for them. I was particularly drawn to medicine during my undergraduate career, when I began volunteering for health clinics near campus. I witnessed the need for good health care for underserved communities, which inspired me to look for more opportunities to help. At the same time, I also began thinking about where I’d love to study medicine, and a focus on community health and social determinants of health was paramount. The College of Medicine seemed like the perfect fit, with an emphasis on early engagement with patients and service to the community throughout one’s time in medical school.
What did you study as an undergraduate? How do you think those studies, and any work, research, or continuing education experiences you had prior to medical school, will prepare you for this next step in your academic career?
As an undergraduate, I studied chemistry and worked in a physical chemistry lab. Once I found medicine as my passion, I also pursued a Wilderness EMT certification. My work in the classroom and lab have sharpened my work ethic, which will carry me through the rigorous academic load of a medical student. Through my coursework and volunteerism as an EMT, I have polished my interactions with patients and learned to be a quick, innovative thinker in emergency situations.
Many of my experiences, collegiate athletics included, offered valuable experience as a team member. It’s been rewarding to pursue team goals in the research lab, on the ambulance, and on the track. I look forward to continuing that experience in medicine.
How did having a parent in the medical field shape your desire to become a physician?
My mother is an internal medicine physician and there is never a doubt that she loves what she does. I enjoy listening to her stories about the connection she can make with each patient and how she guides them through and out of sickness.
Early on, I knew I wanted to work with people. I fell in love with the hard sciences and began to see medicine’s unique intersection between science and relationship-building. I think my mom always secretly hoped I would go into medicine, but never pressured me. It has been a powerful experience to chase my dream of becoming a physician of my own accord. I believe something so challenging and demanding needs to be discovered organically through experiences and coursework. Now that I am entering my first year at the College of Medicine, I cannot wait to continue my journey to become a physician and pursue the relationship-building aspect of medicine that drew me to this field in the first place.
What advice would you give to current medical school applicants?
Do not be afraid to showcase who you are as an applicant. There is no cookie-cutter method to apply to medical school, and that is what makes it such a gratifying feeling when you receive an acceptance: you know that your unique story was exactly what that school was looking for.
Another word of advice would be to find your “why.” The medical school application process is too difficult to chase without knowing why you want to become a doctor in the first place. Once I found my reason, I found it incredibly helpful to have a reminder of what I was doing all of this work for in the first place.