How old are you?
I am currently 32 years old.
Where are you from?
I originally grew up in Port Huron, Michigan, a small town on the southeast side of the state. The town borders Lake Huron, and Canada, and is about 1.5 hours from Detroit.
Where did you go to college? How did you decide on a school and major?
Given the fact that I grew up in Michigan, I spent a lot of time wondering what else was out there, and what it would be like to live in a warm state. I had family living in Arizona and I decided that I would take the plunge and apply to Arizona State. I visited many other colleges in Michigan that were excellent, but I had a gut feeling that I needed to move away.
I majored in biology, and chose this major based on the fact that I wanted to go into medicine, and it required many of the courses that a pre-med was required to take.
Where did you go to medical school and why?
I am proud to be a Buckeye, of The Ohio State University. I chose Ohio State because it felt right. It is so important to be happy where you are attending school/working, etc. In my opinion, the rank and statistics of the school matter much less in comparison to being “a good fit”. When I interviewed at Ohio State, the people really stood out. It felt like a family environment there and I knew I would feel comfortable and supported if I attended medical school there.
Did you take time off between undergrad and medical school? Why or why not? And if you did take time off, how did you spend it?
I did not take time off per say, but I did complete a post-baccalaureate program at Ohio State for a year prior to starting medical school. I had received acceptances to other medical schools, but I really liked Ohio State and I decided that waiting a year to go to my dream school was worth it. The post-baccalaureate program had a conditional acceptance. If a specific GPA and MCAT score WERE met, I was guaranteed matriculation into medical school. It was great, because it saved me another year of repeated medical school applications and financial struggles to pay for those applications!
How many times did you take the MCAT?
This is one of my most common questions. I took the MCAT three (yes THREE) times! And I never did all that well honestly. I struggled with this standardized test and it caused a lot of negativity in my life. I know this is a common occurrence for many of you. I don’t use anything from the MCAT today. And I am here to tell you it IS possible to be a very successful physician without doing fabulous on the MCAT. 😉
Why Emergency Medicine?
My interest in Emergency Medicine began as an undergraduate student at Arizona State University. Most of the volunteer opportunities were in the Emergency Department, so I received most of my early exposure then. The Emergency Medicine physicians that I have met throughout life were always enthusiastic, fun, and seemed to have fun on the job. They made it tough for me to love another field of medicine.
That being said, I still planned to go into surgery all throughout medical school, up until it was time for me to apply for residency. I made a last minute career switch to Emergency Medicine when I realized I wasn’t excited about my lifestyle as a surgeon. Once I allowed that change to happen mentally, I was SO excited and happy for my future.
What does an Emergency Physician do?
An Emergency Medicine physician has a variable schedule that typically switches frequently from days to nights. We see all types of patients in the ED- healthy ones, sick ones, young and old. There are days when I go from a crashing patient, to a patient with a
simple viral infection, to delivering a diagnosis of cancer, to suturing a simple laceration. It’s really variable and anything can happen in the ED at anytime! It’s a tough mentality- it’s very fast paced. We see a large number of patients each day. Some days I see 2-3 patients an hour for 12 hours, with sparse food and bathroom breaks.
What does work-life balance look like to you and how do you achieve it?
Having a work-life balance means being able to enjoy your life instead of dreading the next day because of whatever job or studying you have on the agenda. Work-life balance has to include the “life” part, and for many individuals this can be a battle. It is necessary to stop yourself from spending every waking minute on your career, and pushing yourself to regularly do the things you love (i.e. exercise, cooking, shopping, movies, etc). No one ever said a balance between work and life is easy… but if you don’t figure out how to achieve this balance early on, burn out will catch up and it is a tough hole to climb out of.
Describe the non-physician part of you.
I am a dog-lover, beach go-er that loves cooking a healthy meal as often as possible. I’m a big fan of exercise, themes and holidays, and my go-to outfit of the day is a pair of yoga pants with a graphic tee. I am obsessed with flavored coffee, making new playlists that fit my mood, and traveling. When I’m not at work you can typically find me on the couch catching up on mindless reality tv, although I’m also a big fan of going out on the town and wine tasting.