Undergraduate Institution: Baldwin Wallace University (formerly, Baldwin-Wallace College) in Berea, Ohio
Why did you choose podiatric medicine? Podiatric medicine is truly the gem of medicine! I chose podiatric medicine for several reasons: I have a background in research examining the role of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) in lower extremity function and recovery after injury or surgery. I have always been fascinated by human motor function, and wanted to apply my background and knowledge clinically to help patients. Also, I love the variety of treatments and procedures that podiatric medicine offers, which allows us as physicians to provide comprehensive, quality care for our patients: everything from wound care, sports medicine treatments, and surgical procedures (to name a few). Podiatry truly has it all!
Why did you choose Kent State? I chose Kent State because immediately upon stepping on campus, you feel a genuine sense of welcome, exceptional support, and unrivaled education and training opportunities. Everyone from fellow students, to staff and administration, and faculty are incredibly supportive and truly here to help guide us to become the best, most competent podiatric physicians and surgeons. In addition, as a Cleveland Native, I am proud that Kent State educates and trains many podiatrists that practice both regionally and nationally; the extensive and supportive affiliations and alumni network are truly unparalleled!
Favorite aspect of Kent State now that you are a student here: My favorite aspect of Kent State now that I am a student here is the genuine family-like environment! This is often reflected in the emails that we will send or receive addressed as, "Dear KSUCPM Family." It truly is a place where everyone is part of a team and engages in collective uplift. When you are here, as a student, you have a sense of unwavering support surrounded by colleagues, staff, administration, and faculty who are all working towards a shared mission: "to educate students to be highly competent Doctors of Podiatric Medicine who will excel in residency training." The friendships and professional relationships established are truly lifelong!
As a first-year student, what are some of the challenges you faced while transitioning into medical school? As a first-year student, some of the challenges faced while transitioning into medical school included time management and establishing a balance between personal life and professional responsibilities. I think these are challenges that many students face, and the good news is that there are senior students who have experienced this who are willing to help and share their tips and advice. In addition, faculty, staff, and administration have "open door" policies, and are always there to lend an ear and offer support and resources, as well. Although it was challenging to find a balance at first (to ensure responsibilities for my studies and my family -- I have 2 young children -- were fulfilled), I utilized senior students' advice and study schedules, and found a method that worked for me for time management. Then, I applied this same approach for the semesters that followed, tailoring it each time.
What advice do you have for anyone considering podiatry school? My advice for anyone considering podiatry school is "go for it!" It truly is the gem of medicine, and there is such great variety in the treatments and procedures that we can offer -- as well as the patient populations that we treat -- that there is a niche for everyone. But first, I would definitely recommend "doing your homework": I always suggest that potential podiatry students shadow podiatrists to see first-hand what it is like and ask relevant questions, read the literature and publications to see what work has been done and what is currently being done in the field, search websites to learn more about podiatry at-large (e.g., ABPM, ACFAS, ASPS, etc.), reach out to students and/or residents and ask them about their experiences and insights, and have a plan and vision on where you see yourself post-podiatry school (What type of practice do you think you would be interested in, etc.?).
What are some of the activities/clubs you are involved in at KSUCPM? At KSUCPM, I am involved with the local chapter of the American Society of Podiatric Surgeons (ASPS) and formerly served as the Director of Research, I am also an Editorial Committee Member for the national ASPS organization; in addition, I collaborate on research projects as a member of SABER, am a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), Kappa Tau Epsilon (KTE), and I serve as a tutor and teaching assistant for the Gross and Lower Extremity Anatomy courses. There are so many ways to be involved at KSUCPM; these experiences truly enrich your education and professional development!
What one word describes you best? The one word that I think describes me best is "engaged"; I aim to be fully engaged and present in all of my commitments and interactions.
What one word best describes KSUCPM? Family!
Movie: anything Disney (especially Pixar; I watch them all the time with my kids) :)
Song: "Never Gonna Let You Down" by Colbie Caillat
Starbucks Drink: Americano and Honey Citrus Mint Tea ("Medicine Ball")
Class: Gross and Lower Extremity Anatomy
Thing to do in Cleveland: I love all the museums in the Cleveland-area, Botanical Gardens, Metroparks, and many local-area campgrounds (my family and I enjoy camping and kayaking)