Program M.D. Rural Primary Care Track (Rogersville)
Hometown Rogersville, TN and Morristown, TN
Undergraduate School and Major East Tennessee State University, M.A. in Sociology and B.S. in Sociology with a minor in Biology. Walters State Community College, A.A.S. in Information Technology Engineering.
Specialty / Career Plans I have come to love Emergency Medicine, but I am open to exploring more fields of medicine and learning all that I can during my 3rd year clerkships. If something else appeals to me, then my plans will change accordingly. I am also a 2LT in the Tennessee Army National Guard. I hope to take my skills in whatever field I choose and use them to serve the state of Tennessee and the brave men and women in our nations Army.
Extracurricular Activities I enjoy hiking, playing basketball and spending as much time as possible with my little nephew, grandmother, close friends and family. I am becoming more involved with women's rights issues and enjoy using my sociology background to understand routes to advocacy. I also teach sociology courses at WSCC. Teaching definitely gives me a much-needed break from the medical sciences. I love to engage folks in discussions about their social environment. Its rewarding to give students a different perspective on an issue or highlight a social problem that they may not have thought about before. When I have time past those hobbies, I love to write stories about my experiences in medicine and draw.
Marital Status Single
Being a Quillen Student
Being a student at Quillen is absolutely amazing. Everyone is so supportive of us here. From the janitorial staff to academic affairs to those working in the financial aid office, I feel that they all treat us, and one another, like family. I love the environment that is created here by all the amazing folks that work hard to help each of us daily. The professors that I have encountered here at Quillen are approachable and strive to give us the tools that we need to succeed. They push us to take ownership of our education, and they are always available to answer questions and help us when we need it. Being a Quillen student also comes with the joy of getting to know 71 classmates who I have found to be a source of strength, laughs, and comfort when I have needed it.
Life Outside the Classroom
Maintaining a life outside of the classroom is easy when you live in such a beautiful place. I am an East Tennessee native so I enjoy the outdoors whenever I can. I think its important to find a balance between school and life, and balance has a different meaning for each individual. Even though medical school is challenging, I always find time for the things that matter most to me.
I graduated high school from Cherokee High School in Rogersville. I lived in Treadway, TN until my teen years when my family moved to Mooresburg, TN. After graduating high school, I worked and attended college in Morristown, TN. I bought a home there, where I lived and worked for almost 10 years before moving to Johnson City. Its always difficult for me to choose a hometown because I spent my childhood in Hawkins County and a significant part of my adult life in Hamblen County. While in Morristown, I worked at Alcoa Howmet and spent the last few years of my employment there in the Research and Development department. It was during this time that I realized my love for science and my desire to do something significant with my life. I credit the folks that I worked with during this time for helping me to realize my potential by mentoring me and pushing me to succeed.
Words of Wisdom
As medical students, we constantly hear that we are the best of the best and that only the smartest pre-meds make it to become medical students. I think my story defies that logic, at least to some degree.
While a young college student fresh out of high school, I failed multiple exams and many classes. As you can imagine, I never felt that I was very smart. After returning to college as an older student with a new drive to achieve my goals, I used my past failures to push me to succeed. Often, when students hear that they must be better and smarter than the rest, one or two failed exams will discourage them from continuing on this path. They mistakenly believe that they are not smart enough. I venture to say that our failures shape us more than our successes. If you find that you have failed your first exam in Biology or Organic Chemistry, instead of thinking that you must not be smart enough, change the way you approach the material or get a tutor to help you to succeed. Talk to your professors and ask for their guidance.
Yes, those of us who make it to medical school are different than those who do not, but it has very little to do with intelligence. Those who make it here have failed, maybe many times, but we have picked ourselves back up, made adjustments, and tried again. The road to success is paved by the way we react to our failures or mistakes. You must be willing to make the necessary changes, to your approach or perspective, to prevail. In other words, having a strong work ethic, determination, and willingness to learn will mean much more when traveling this path than smarts alone. We can always learn if we have the right attitude. The wrong attitude rarely gives any good results even when mixed with great intelligence. Also, knowing what its like to make mistakes and to fail will serve to shape you into a stronger and more confident person and hopefully, an even better physician as one who can understand peoples losses and struggles in life.
When taking your undergrad classes, see each one as an opportunity to make yourself better. Don't just focus on the importance of the sciences while thinking that English or History isnt worth your time. If you embrace each class, you will learn a skill that the others simply cannot teach you. Above all the sciences, communication skills are absolutely vital to your success. You must be a good written communicator, effective at argumentation, and literate about what is happening in world around you to be a great physician. First and foremost, you need to be a thinker. That means knowing how to evaluate your own beliefs and values and being able to critique multiple sides of any issue. Microbiology may teach you about the infectious agents that cause disease, but Sociology will teach you why racial disadvantage matters and help you to understand why some groups of people experience disease more often than others. Further, your English and Western World Literature classes will help you learn to critique, to think, and to engage yourself in writing so that you can effectively take information and disseminate it to your patients. You owe it to yourself and to your community to gain all the understanding and knowledge possible, so that you can better discern how to heal your patients and maybe more importantly, what healing means to them.