Getting A Pacemaker
September 14, 2012
After being diagnosed with symptomatic bradycardia or sick sinus syndrome, I received a pacemaker in my senior year of high school. It was difficult to accept, but the personal experience gave me a passionate perspective on medicine, biomaterials, and patient care.
April 26, 2013
I chose to major in Materials Science and Engineering with the intent to specialize in biomaterials. My experience with my pacemaker surgery inspired this choice. 4 years later, I would defend my Senior Capstone thesis and successfully walk that stage!
December 18, 2015
I made the choice to add on pre-medical requirements to my engineering degree plan. This was a scary decision to make because I was nearing the end of my junior year. I felt it in my bones that I needed to try this new adventure. I set-up an appointment with my Pre-Health advisor, and the rest was history!
Taking The First Pre-Requisite
May 30, 2016
I took Biology 1 and 2 over the summer at a community college. Despite consistent feedback from other pre-meds that a community college would put me at a disadvantage, I was proud to pay for these courses out of my own pocket and earn a 4.0 for that summer. If I had to do it over again, I would make the same choices.
@MedicalRedhead Is Launched
July 3, 2016
I created @MedicalRedhead on Twitter after discovering #GirlMedTwitter. I wanted the support system after announcing pre-med 3 years into my undergraduate degree.
Becoming a Scribe
August 6, 2016
I earned my position as a scribe at the end of a summer of pre-requisites. It was so exciting to be placed in a hospital emergency department and urgent care. I would finally get a real understanding of how a hospital works! Four years of scribing later, this job has been a defining opportunity in my professional career.
Sitting For The MCAT Round #1
January 19, 2017
Despite my greatest efforts to succeed everywhere else as a pre-med, I failed to take the MCAT seriously the first time around. My cockiness got the best of me when I saw that engineers historically do better on the exam. Two weeks from my scheduled exam and my first full-length practice exam later, I realized it was too late to do anything about my 490-ish practice scores. One anxiety-driven month later… I opened AAMC to see my deserved score of 494.
Getting Accepted To A Post-Bacc
March 5, 2018
I was accepted to the University of North Texas Health Science Center Masters of Medical Sciences program. I was very excited to be accepted to this program because it was the first affirmation I received that someone else believed I could make a good healthcare professional.
May 12, 2018
I graduated with my B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering and a minor in Biology. I didn’t think it would happen, but I made it happen! I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, my fiance, and a great Pre-Health Department pushing me to the next step.
First Day of Master’s Degree!
May 29, 2018
I was so nervous and thrilled by this day. It felt real. I was actually a student of my 200-peer cohort! Over 1,200 people applied during this cycle, and I was one of the chosen ones. The humility and responsibility to do something great with my acceptance were immense. I wasn’t just amongst classmates anymore– I was surrounded by my future colleagues.
Sitting For The MCAT Round #2
August 10, 2018
Between my post-bacc MCAT prep course and three other courses, it was a tough summer. I’m proud of my work ethic in studying for this round of the MCAT, but my scores plateaued. No matter how much I refreshed or tested, it did not stick. Test day rolls around, and I know I have done the best I could offer to this pre-med dream. One month later, I opened AAMC to see a deserved 502 MCAT score.
Getting Married On A Test Day
September 14, 2018
My wedding day was one of my favorite days of my master’s degree because it was the same day as a biochemistry exam. I woke up at 3:00 AM to head out to the library, took the exam at 9:00 AM, and was ready to walk down the aisle by 5:00 PM! It was a beautiful day because I got to celebrate the love of my life and my grandest partner. (I also got an A on the exam, but Mr. Redhead is far more important.) Read more about this in my blog!
Confronting My Anxiety
October 24, 2018
As my post-bacc continued, my spirits dropped as I earned B after B… I consistently reminded myself that what I was accomplishing was not bad, but the stress took a toll regardless. It got so severe that I asked for help at my institution’s student health clinic. I was diagnosed with GAD or generalized anxiety disorder. My provider helped me get my serotonin levels right and introduced me to new coping mechanisms. My happiness, confidence, and hope for my dreams returned.
Figuring Out My Serotonin Levels
November 16, 2018
After working with my provider to address my anxiety, I couldn’t believe how much better I felt. I didn’t realize how bad my anxiety was prior to getting help. The experience reminded me of when I first got glasses– I never knew how much I couldn’t see until I could finally see it. I was sleeping better, more emotionally in control, and could finally focus on my coursework. I felt like myself again, ready to take on the next challenge in this journey.
Discovering Research as a Passion
March 29, 2019
After working in a human physiology research laboratory over my winter break, I presented a poster at my institution’s Research Appreciation Day. It was a really cool experience to see what my campus peers have worked on the past academic year, and it was exciting to realize my work was something to contribute to the institution’s research mission. The keynote speaker of the event was Dr. Larisa Cavallari, PharmD. She spoke on her research in pharmacogenetics, precision medicine, and federal drug policy. It was the first time that I learned about the vastness of the pharmacist’s influence on healthcare. Her presentation sparked an interest in me to check out the profession.
Accepting Strengths and Limitations
April 8, 2019
Shortly after my anatomy and physiology finals, I knew that my pre-med dream needed to be reassessed. I gave my 100% to these courses but still pulled up short of success. In combination with other professional and personal influences, I needed to take a step back and learn what my strengths and limitations were. During this time, I was wisely advised that picking a profession required understanding what your passions were and what you were good at. I reflected on my values and priorities, realizing that despite my passion for healthcare, I wasn’t all that passionate about medicine. Ultimately, I accepted myself and my reality and decided not to let my limitations be my insecurities. It was time to see what the next part of my journey would be!
Touring The UNTHSC College of Pharmacy
May 3, 2019
This tour solidified what pharmacy had to offer that suited my strengths. I was so excited to learn about compounding which reminded me of my engineering background. I was amazed at how UNTHSC College of Pharmacy offered electives in pharmacological bioinformatics, veterinary medicine, and sterile compounding. They also have a media space where students can practice professional media interview skills as well as telepharmacy. Their simulation rooms included an ICU hospital room and an outpatient clinic. Nothing seemed off the table in this profession. Because of my interest in critical care clinical pharmacy, the tour gave me comfort that this field is where I am meant to be.
May 6, 2019
A whole slew of life events began to point me to pharmacy as a choice of profession. Because there was a pharmacy college at my institution, I reached out to sit in on a pharmacy lecture. This lecture discussed HIV medications: their mechanism, the available classes, adverse effects, etc. For the last 10-minutes of the lecture, the professor took the time to teach the students about how to recommend medications based on a patient’s lifestyle. The lecturer taught that patient’s sleeping patterns, eating habits, and more details about a patient’s quality of life mattered when recommending drugs. By the end of the lecture, I knew that pharmacy was the path I wanted to take as a healthcare professional.
Sitting for the PCAT
October 29, 2019
Knowing I wanted to apply early decision to pharmacy school, I took the PCAT seriously. My preparation for the MCAT taught me to prepare properly for the PCAT. Relearning pre-calculus, basic mathematics, logic, and organic chemistry reactions filled the evenings of my early fall. It was all worth it though when I walked out of the exam. Unbeknownst to me, my score published immediately– 92nd percentile. Because I thought the score would release a month later, I hadn’t prepared on how to read my score report and could not believe my initial score until a good friend and pharmacy student assured me it was real. I sobbed in the parking lot for an hour, completely overwhelmed by the relief I felt!