As an undergraduate at the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, I was drawn to the multidisciplinary International Studies major because it offered a high degree of personal autonomy over the design of my curriculum and the opportunity to immerse myself in both the sciences and humanities. It was my goal to understand how health care systems work across the world and the people existing within them. My college education enhanced my ability to think independently about complex social issues and laid the foundation of my worldview. Working in three different undergraduate libraries taught me about information science, and I became skilled in strategically & efficiently finding anything I wanted to learn more about. By graduation I had become a full-fledged autodidact.
The summer in-between college and medical school I worked as a hospital phlebotomist and laboratory processor. This gave me my first taste of direct patient care (outside of volunteering) and solidified my desire to pursue medicine as a career. The experience would prove to be valuable in my future career as it taught me about the entire lifecycle of laboratory testing, from specimen retrieval to delivery of results. In medical school I learned about laboratory data interpretation, and I apply this knowledge on a daily basis in both my medical practice and work with technology companies.