Why did you originally decide to major in history?
I decided to major in history because history classes were my favorite in high school. I enjoyed learning about people in different societies, analyzing historical events, and listening to others' opinions during discussion.
Describe your current career. What do you do, and what do you love about it?
Currently, I am a first year orthopaedic surgery resident at the University of Cincinnati. What drew me to orthopaedics was the direct impact an orthopaedic surgeon can have on a person's physical functioning and quality of life.
What was your career path after undergrad, and in what ways did a degree in history prepare you for your current life/career?
After graduating from Washington University in 2014, I attended the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine. I received my medical degree in 2018. After that, I did a year of research in orthopaedics at the University of Cincinnati before I become a resident physician. My history degree helped me to develop communication skills that were not part of the required premedical science classes. By participating in discussions with people that had differing opinions, I learned how to listen to others, see multiple sides to an argument, and articulate my own position on a subject. These skills have come in handy both when trying to understand medical decisions from a patient's perspective and when making decisions with medical colleagues.
Can you remember an instance when your background in history came in handy or helped you make an unexpected connection?
My history degree came in handy during both the medical school and residency interview process. As most applicants interested in medical school major in the sciences, my degree in history stood out and often became a topic of conversation.
What is your advice to current WashU undergrads?
My advice to current WashU undergrads is to take classes in subjects they are interested in. I found it much easier to engage myself in classes in which I had a big interest in the subject matter. While some classes may not directly relate to your career path, there are many things you can learn that may help you in your future career in unexpected ways. Having an unconventional major can make you stand out in an applicant pool where many people have similar educational backgrounds.