June 27, 2017

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My Life Exploration Led Me to Medical School

Elizabeth Miller, 3rd Year Medical Student

Elizabeth Miller, 3rd Year Medical Student

Sometimes our path isn’t always clear and you have to experience life a bit to help see where you belong and my journey to medical school certainly didn’t start in the traditional sense.

Finding My Way

After high school, I went to college and studied at the University of St. Thomas where I majored in Biology. Originally I thought that I wanted to go to medical school after graduating college, but there was a big part of me that was unsure. The decision to go to medical school is really a big commitment, so I decided to take a few years off to go out into the working world to gain some experience in healthcare. While I enjoyed the path of exploration, my heart kept telling me that I wanted to be on the other side of medicine, working one-on-one with patients. Had I started medical school right away, I would be further along than I am now, but I realize that I needed those experiences to define my vision.

Currently, I’m a third year medical student at Des Moines University in Iowa. During the first two years of medical school, we spend most of our time with our noses in books studying for what we will need to know when it’s time to interact with patients. We have time in labs with simulated patients, but that’s nothing like when you get to your third year when you get to do rotations while learning about the different specialties in medicine in a hands-on atmosphere.

Exploring Medical Specialties

A native of Willmar, I was happy to come to ACMC for my clinical rotations. With all the specialties that ACMC-Willmar has to offer, it will be a great place to help me prepare for my future as a doctor. My surgery rotation with Dr. Steven Bell has been one of my favorites so far because it’s so hands-on and not just all clinic-based. I’ll be with ACMC until July, and between now and then will spend time in Nephrology, ENT, Dermatology, ER as well as a second rotation in Family Medicine. When I leave I will be left to decide what areas of medicine I want to focus on during my fourth year of medical school and finally what my specialty will be in residency.

I’ve really enjoyed learning from all the different providers. I watch their style, how they approach patients and medical issues, and how they work with the patient to come to a diagnosis. It will really help me as I figure out what my personal style will be. The patients here have been great to work with as well; they are really understanding and willing to let us give our assessment and I commonly hear, “you have to start somewhere.” It’s nice that they are willing to help out future doctors! It’s been an interesting journey so far, and ACMC has given me a great start. I’m excited to see where the next chapter of my medical education leads me!

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