Hometown: Clackamas, OR
Undergrad School: University of Oregon
Major: Human Physiology and Biology
Class year: Doctor of Podiatric Medicine – Class of 2016
Why did you choose DMU?
DMU was one of my top choices because of the focus on inter-professional education and the integration between the different academic programs here on campus. As future healthcare providers, we will be working with other healthcare professionals from other fields, so starting my educational experience off by interacting with students from other programs appealed to me. As someone who holds a strong interest in wellness/holistic health and working with underserved populations, DMU is the perfect fit for me. DMU is very committed to keeping students healthy – the Wellness Center offers amazing group fitness classes and activities, walk stations and nutrition classes. Within the community, DMU provides its students many opportunities to get involved through service, volunteering, and events. Further displaying DMU’s commitment to the Des Moines community is La Clinica de la Esperanza, an on campus clinic which serves the Spanish-speaking Latino immigrant families and also those without health insurance. Aside from all of this, the one thing that truly stood out to me at this institution was the people; everyone was incredibly kind, friendly, and willing to help. Lastly, the admissions staff was so amazingly kind, generous, and helpful – I definitely had a lot of questions after I came to interview, and the admissions staff took the time to answer all of my questions in a timely fashion and really made me feel at ease with the whole application and interview process.
Were you surprised by anything in the program?
During high school and undergrad, I never really had to study that much to get good grades. The thing that surprised me the most was how much time you need to invest to do well because, though the material itself isn’t too difficult, the sheer amount of knowledge you are expected to know and retain is quite substantial.
Any advice for prospective students?
Remember to take time for yourselves, do things that you enjoy, and most importantly, have fun! Though this is a very demanding four years of your life, I promise that you will be much happier if you remember to do the things that you love. For me, getting involved with choir, malpractice bowl, and volunteering has helped me de-stress and relax from a hard week of classes. My friends and I also try and make it out to the Farmer’s Market every week to spend time together, while buying fresh, local foods. You are not only going to learn a great deal in the classroom, but you will also grow through your experiences outside of the academic setting. Get involved in your class, on campus, and/or in the community. Try something you have never done before. Remember that you have wonderful people around you who are going through a similar experience – put yourself out there, cultivate friendships, and know that you are not in this alone.
Extracurricular activities/club involvement at DMU
DMU offers many ways to get involved both on and off campus. I’m the president of the DPM ’16 class and secretary of SNPMA, the Student National Podiatric Medicine Association. In addition, I am a member of the DMU Choir, HCO (Health Care Outreach), ACFOAM (American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine), and SCACFAS (Student Chapter of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. I am a contributing writer to Footnotes, our DPM newsletter, and I also participated in the Malpractice Bowl (powder puff football against Drake Law School!).
One of the amazing things about podiatry is the different type of patients we have the privilege of working with: Diabetics, the geriatric population, infants with congenital defects, athletes, etc. I’m not sure if I could give a definitive answer of where in podiatry I would like to go – maybe pediatrics, sports medicine, and/or as part of a multispecialty clinic. There is so much within the field of podiatry that I would like to try, so even though I do not know exactly where I want to end up, I do know that I want to be as compassionate and knowledgeable of a healthcare professional as possible.
Des Moines has quite a lot to offer! Being from the West Coast, I never saw myself ending up in the Midwest or Iowa because I thought there was going to be nothing to do but look at cornfields. However, during my visit to Des Moines, I was quite taken aback with how many beautiful parks were in Des Moines, how extensive the trail system is here, how many gorgeous tree-filled streets there are, and how much there is to do here! I would recommend a trip to the Iowa State Fair, the Farmer’s Market (my favorite weekend pastime!), and Gray’s Lake for a beautiful run or for some water activities. Also, if you love live shows, Wooly’s has a wonderful great indie music scene. Though you are going to be very busy, you will still have some down time to explore.