What made you want to get your MD degree at WVU?
We have a dedicated Global Health Program, which is important to me. I love it and decided to participate in the Global Health Track. Morgantown is also close to my family and I like having them nearby for support. My career goals involve working at the CDC and I wanted to get involved early. WVU has the Prevention Research Center, which is funded by the CDC. The PRC, in combination with the dedicated Global Health Program, practically made my decision for me. Then, when I interviewed at WVU, I loved the environment of the school. That is when I decided this would be a great place to earn my MD.
So far, what is your favorite part of the MD program?
I love the hands-on aspect of anatomy. I enjoy learning something in class and being able to put it in practice immediately, instead of waiting for 2 years for our clinical rotations. It is amazing that you learn in a lecture and then you learn it hands on by applying those classrooms skills to the lab. Seeing how things connect is great for me.
What made you want to become a doctor?
Being a doctor was always something I could picture myself doing. After college, I took a year off to determine if medicine was right for me and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I can't picture my life without medicine. My dad is a primary care physician and my mom did her residency in surgery. It’s neat being the child of physicians, since I got to see interactions that I would not normally get to see otherwise.
How do you think your 3rd and 4th clinical years will be unique since you are part of the Charleston Campus?
I am interested in the MD/MPH program that WVU offers and since I plan to work in global health, Charleston is perfect for me. Charleston has is a policy rotation that I can do at the capitol wherein I can learn how to impact policy. Charleston is also a smaller campus than Morgantown, though not as small as Eastern. I will have a little more direct contact with attending physicians than in Morgantown because there are fewer residents in Charleston. Being in Charleston will give me more hands on approach to medicine and allow me to focus on global health and policy at the same time.
What did you do during your gap year between undergraduate education and medical school?
I worked in my dad's office and I traveled a lot. I did all of those things that you tend to tell yourself you will do on the weekends when you’re free, and which you just never get around to actually doing. During that year, I discovered that I do not like having that much free time. I realized that I couldn't just have a regular 9-5 job that I left at the office when I was done for the day. I needed a career that would impact people.
Did the programs orientation week help you get to know your classmates, faculty/staff, and get you acquainted with Morgantown before classes officially started?
It was scary! I did not know anyone and I had no idea what medical school would be like; however, I made some of my closest friends during orientation week. That week helped me realize that I needed to take care of myself in addition to studying. The second day was all about wellness. Yes, we are in medical school but we are people too.
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about medical school?
If medicine is your calling, you will know it. It may be scary, or overwhelming, but if medicine is something you want to go into, then go for it. It is fulfilling. A friend called me a few weeks ago about their wrist and I was able to put what I learned in class earlier that day into use. Even with only the knowledge from my first year in medicine, I was able to help my friend. That is an amazing feeling.
What activities help keep you a well-balanced medical student?
I like to work out. I joined a karate school nearby and I try and go a few times a week to work on my own physical well-being. I also like to make blankets for babies and make sweet things by baking or cooking.
So far, which wellness event has been your favorite?
I enjoyed the Welcome Back Bash which was a cookout. It was great to see the deans cooking the hamburgers. I also loved The Snowball! I love to dance and it was fun seeing everyone all dressed up and looking wonderful. It was beautiful! It was fun and an easy way to relax and see my classmates in a social context. Our deans and support staff were also there and it was nice to see them in a more relaxed environment
What plans do you have for the summer between first and second year?
Since I am in the global health track, I will be taking some modules over the summer and learning more about global health. I will also be doing some shadowing in Infectious Disease, as well as some research through the Prevention Research Center.
What are your goals after graduating?
I plan on working in Infectious Diseases and my goal is to work for the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS). I like the clinical aspect of medicine, but I also enjoy being out in the community. I think ID is great for that. With an MD/MPH, I can also influence health policy at the same time. Health policy is a great way to help impact people on a more broad scale than what I can reach individually.
Interviewed spring of 2018 (during the MS1 curriculum)
Photo taken by painting in the HSC ground floor