My Journey Into Medicine:
It's never too late to pursue your dreams.
My journey into medicine started later than is typical of most physicians. I graduated from Western Michigan University in 2004 with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration. Right after graduation, I started working for an architecture firm in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. I discovered early on that I loved marketing, and I became the director of marketing there. It was a career I loved for many years.
Outside of work, I was beginning to learn about the impact my food choices had on animals and environmental sustainability. The more I read and researched, it became so important to me that I decided to shift away from eating animal products because I wanted make a difference.
Not knowing how to cook or what to eat, I started to read more and more. I found resources from Dr. Neal Barnard and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I discovered the work of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, and others. These were doctors, publishing books, online resources, and solid research about preventing and reversing diseases with food. I wondered, why was I just now learning about this? Why hadn't my own doctor told me about food? My family never discussed it. My grandparents and extended family had health problems for many years, but nobody mentioned our diet. I was frustrated that I had to go to great lengths to find out about it. I realized I had stumbled onto something remarkable. The more I learned, the more I wanted to share it with others.
This discovery ignited a fire within me. I found VegMichigan, a local plant-based organization, and started volunteering. I continued to read, watch, and learn any information I could find. I connected with many of these doctors whose work I had become so interested in. I began to question whether it was possible to change careers and pursue this work myself. My volunteer work with VegMichigan evolved into teaching people in the community about what I had been learning. I realized I had found my passion in life, and I had to make a major change.
I started looking into medical school. It took me 3 years to complete the undergraduate "pre-med" courses I needed while still working at my job, and eventually I was accepted to Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011. Fast forward through five difficult, but awesome years - I graduated from MSU's dual-degree program in Osteopathic Medicine and Public Health. I pursued the D.O. / M.P.H. program so that I could also learn about improving health from a larger, population perspective. The fire that sparked within me 8 years ago is as strong as ever, and I am excited to get to work.