I am from the small, rural town of Arnaudville, LA, where receiving healthcare is difficult due to physicians' shortage and limited access to healthcare facilities. VCOM's focus on preparing doctors to reach medically underserved populations aligns with my goals, as I plan to return to my hometown upon graduating to practice in primary care.
Who or what has inspired you while at VCOM?
Matriculating into VCOM Louisiana's inaugural class has been exciting and has come with a few hurdles, such as navigating a pandemic and two hurricanes. I am continually inspired and motivated by my fellow classmates' resilience as we continue to grow as student doctors and work together to overcome these challenges. Not only have my classmates become like a family, but I am always grateful for and inspired by the compassion and attentiveness of VCOM faculty and staff. When a faculty member was hurt in an accident, everyone united in sending them a giant personalized card filled with healing words and kindness, embodying our campus's spirit.
How has the VCOM mission-inspired you as a medical student?
VCOM's mission to develop student doctors committed to serving their local rural communities is an important part of why I chose this program. Despite the limitations of pandemic restrictions, we have had many opportunities to positively impact Monroe and the North Louisiana area by organizing food drives, toy drives for the local children's home, and disaster relief donations for those affected by the 2020 hurricanes. I look forward to upcoming volunteer efforts to administer vaccines to the community and spend a summer serving abroad (once travel is safe) to fulfill our mission of becoming a globally-minded student doctor.
Who or what inspired you to study medicine?
From a young age, I helped my mother care for my great grandmother, who had Alzheimer's and my grandmother through terminal cancer. These experiences had a tremendous influence on me and inspired me to pursue medicine. My foundation as a yoga teacher cultivated my interest in integrated wellness and led me to choose specifically Osteopathic medicine.
Why did you choose VCOM?
I am from the small, rural town of Arnaudville, LA, where receiving healthcare is difficult due to physicians' shortage and limited access to healthcare facilities. VCOM's focus on preparing doctors to reach medically underserved populations aligns with my goals, as I plan to return to my hometown upon graduating to practice in primary care. The opportunity to be part of the inaugural class of VCOM's Louisiana campus has been a dream come true. It is exciting and humbling to instill a unique culture within VCOM and represent the VCOM mission for classes to come.
What do you enjoy most about living in the area around your campus?
VCOM's campus is situated adjacent to a beautiful bayou, which makes for an amazing view. I love to take advantage of the free kayaks provided to students on the weekends or take a walk along the path through the pine trees at Restoration Park in West Monroe. We are about an hour away from Kisatchie National Forest, and I enjoy camping there on breaks as well. Of course, I have to recommend Himalayan Cafe and Latin Foods Honduran Restaurant, my favorite restaurants!
What do you like to do in your free time?
Aside from playing with my two dogs and practicing yoga, I have a deep love for music and experiencing nature. Over breaks, I plan to attend festivals or visit national parks. During the fall break, my boyfriend and I visited Zion, Arches, and Dead Horse Parks in Utah. It was a great way to relax after the semester. I also love to hula hoop and learn new tricks--it is an art! If medical school doesn't work out, I can always join the circus. Hah! Just kidding, of course.
Are you interested in a particular practice or specialty once you graduate? What has inspired your interest in this specialty?
While I am interested in a few potential specialties, including pediatric neurology and psychiatry, internal medicine appeals to me most because it provides a diverse field of practice and impacts a larger population of individuals. As I mentioned, returning to practice in my hometown to give back to my community is an important goal of mine, and I believe internal medicine would allow me to fulfill that goal. I look forward to clinical rotations to provide more experience with different specialties and help solidify my choice.