Stacie Gilmore '08

When I was a student at W&L, I chose anthropology/sociology because I was excited to travel and learn about other cultures and societies. My parents reluctantly went along with my interests, thinking secretly, "What is she going to with this obscure degree?" Sometimes I wondered the same thing. Looking back, I realize that the degree prepared me for one of the most important skills of all--working closely with people and communities and connecting across cultural barriers. I easily found jobs after college working with community development projects in Appalachia and teaching English overseas in the Marshall Islands and loved it. After seeing the crucial role of healthcare in these communities, I decided that I wanted more than anything to help by becoming a doctor and work in family medicine in a small town.

You would think that an anthropology degree would be a disadvantage, but after taking a few science classes and getting an average score on the MCAT, I got accepted to my top choice medical school on the first try. I could show and prove a passion for working with people, and nothing is more important to hospitals and medical schools than training doctors who sincerely care about their patients and can work collaboratively with a diverse healthcare team. I am currently in my second year of medical school, doing well in classes, and looking forward to working with patients on third and fourth year rotations.