Specialty: Pediatric Medicine
Current Medical Institution: Children’s Mercy Hospital – Kansas City, MO
Residency: Children’s Mercy
Medical School: University of Missouri – Columbia
Undergraduate: University of Missouri – Columbia
1) When did you decide you wanted to become a Medical Doctor and what led to this decision? I decided in 3rd grade that I wanted to become a pediatrician, mostly related to the fact that I loved kids, even as a child myself – but also because my experiences with physicians had all been very positive.
2) What was the most difficult part of getting into Medical School for you? The interview itself! As noted in question #3, I was a high school senior when I interviewed for medical school. It was very challenging and intimidating at that point in my life to answer long time physicians’ questions about why I felt medical school was an appropriate choice for me.
3) How did you study for the MCAT? How do you recommend students study for the MCAT? Luckily, I didn’t have to take the MCAT as I was accepted into medical school as a senior in high school through a scholar program offered at the University of MO. But as with any other standardize tests, I would recommend making a REASONABLE study plan, sticking with to the best of your capability, but all while taking time from studying for breaks/relaxation.
4) What did you do during your undergraduate summers? During the summers (and throughout the school year) I worked at a pharmacy as a pharmacy technician. I also did volunteer work and research with one of my biology professors.
5) What is one thing you wish someone told you while you were in college? The one thing that someone actually did tell me, but that I felt was an invaluable piece of info was to be well rounded in college. It was absolutely of utmost importance to focus on my studies as I knew the pre-med path was not an easy one. But I’m so happy that I had people around me to remind me not to be one-track minded. College is a great time to be exposed to new people, places, and ideas among other things. So taking an art or music class, traveling overseas, learning a foreign language, or playing intramural sports all add so much to a person’s life experience. I think being well balanced is a great attribute, and one that is often looked highly upon by those admitting to medical school.
6) What led you to choose your current specialty? My love for children played a huge role in me choosing pediatrics as a career. In particular, kids’ playful/innocent nature and their resiliency are characteristics which I’m drawn to, and are not as common in the adult population.
7) What is one thing that a mentor did for you which has had a lifelong effect on your career? One of my mentors did a great job of instilling in me the importance of networking, remembering a name or a face, and always striving to put your best foot forward.
8) Briefly describe your average work day. I work in an emergency department which is shift work. So my schedule is very random with some days, some evening, and even a few nights and weekends. My average work day is 8 to 8.5 hours in the ER seeing patients. (I typically have 3-4 shifts per week.) On average, one day per week I’m working outside of the department catching up on charts, doing research and participating in meetings.
9) What do you enjoy most about your profession? What do you enjoy least? I love the most the feeling of gratitude from a patient (or parent) after I have played a part in the patient’s care. At this point in my career, the unpredictable/sporadic schedule is probably one of my least favorite things.
10) What words of advice would you like to leave with pre-medical students? Don’t give up on your dreams, as hard work does really pay off. And although the road is very arduous at times, in the end the pay-off is more than worth it.