On Wednesday, the Daily Voice introduces you to a student or resident at UMass Medical School. We’ve asked our subjects to answer a few questions that might reveal a little of their personalities. If you know someone who you’d like to see profiled, let us know at email@example.com.
Sara-Grace Reynolds from Arlington graduated from UMass Boston in 2007. She is a member of Blackstone House.
Why did you choose UMass Medical School?
Because it’s in Worcester, obviously.
Describe yourself in eight words or fewer.
Free spirit, enthusiastic, curious, determined, caring, silly, revolutionary
If you were stranded on a deserted island, name three things you would want.
Survival kit (flint, a big knife, a tarp, a pot), a solar powered iPod with music and Rosetta Stone in every language, a solar powered satellite phone (although that would kind of take the fun out of it!).
If you could have dinner with a famous person, living or dead, who would that be and why?
Probably Jesus. I would love to get a first-hand account of his life and get his take on God and the role of religion throughout history.
What person or experience made you decide to pursue a medical degree and why?
Although my reasons for wanting to pursue medicine are incredibly multifaceted, there was one experience that marked a turning point, when I decided that this was the only path for me. In 2005, I spent fall semester of my junior year of college in Senegal. My last two months there were spent in a rural health clinic. During that time, I experienced what it means to live and try to provide medical care in a country crippled by poverty. I came home from that experience a changed person. I was so frustrated by how much we have—I have—and I became determined to give back.
What is the most interesting or challenging job (paid or unpaid) you’ve ever had and what did you learn about yourself?
Most challenging—waitressing! When you are busy, this job is super tough, and you need exceptional short-term memory and multi-tasking skills. It’s excellent practice for clinical rotations—I learned how to take crap from people and smile ; )
What would your fellow students be surprised to learn about you?
I was a terrible student until I got to college. Terrible.
If UMass Medical School had not been an option, what would you be doing right now?
If medicine as a whole was out, I would be teaching high school, either foreign language or math. Definitely taking summers off to travel!
If you could change the world as a physician, what would you like to do?
Ooooh, don’t get me started. My list is a mile long. Of course I would like to make basic health care a fundamental right around the world. Much larger than that, however, the wealth disparities in this country, and much more so around the world, make me want to scream. I would like to teach people that greed is not the way. Talk about impossible task! I want to successfully create a single-payer health care system in this country. I would like to make the approach to medicine much more mind/body orientated and integrate complementary and alternative medicine into the mainstream. I would like to revolutionize the way people in pain are treated around the world—more concretely how medical students/doctors are taught to treat patients in pain. I would like to create teaching hospitals around the world that train doctors, nurses, midwives for free with a work repayment commitment. I want to make our elderly more connected to society. I want to find the cure for depression, chronic pain, HIV, cancer. I want to fix the education system. I want to promote tolerance and erase hate in every facet of life. I want to make the world a happier, fairer, place. Should I go on?
Most surprising thing you’ve found out about graduate school?
That not everybody in med school is type A! I was scared that I wouldn’t find people to relate to but there are so many great people who are so not the ‘typical med student.’
Most surprising thing you’ve discovered about Worcester?
Green Hill Park. I love it up there. You actually forget that you are in Worcester! Wait—I guess that is not the point of this question . . .