This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Shannon…
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?
Shannon: I was born and raised in Washington State (home to Starbucks…and drizzly weather!). I graduated from Seattle Pacific University where I obtained my undergraduate degree in Human Physiology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology.
Accepted: Where are you currently attending med school? What year are you?
Shannon: I am currently a MS4 (4th year medical student) at Pacific Northwest University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Yakima, WA.
Accepted: How did you know that Pacific Northwest University College of Osteopathic Medicine was the right fit for you?
Shannon: My pre-med advisor told me to find a med school that I would not only survive in, but ultimately thrive in. Having graduated from a smaller undergraduate program, I desired a smaller medical school experience as well. PNWU-COM was the perfect fit for me at the time because I truly wanted to be pushed academically while also being known…i.e. I didn’t want to be just “another number” in a class of 150+ students. Of note, Yakima, WA, is known as “The Palm Springs of Washington” and has the beauty of wide-open spaces filled with vineyard fields, gorgeous sunsets, and bright blue skies almost every single day of the year.
Accepted: What motivated you to pursue a career in medicine?
Shannon: My horse. Ha. I know, it sounds crazy, but it’s true! As a horse owner (even at the young age of 12), I knew I was being called to pursue medicine. However, at that time, I thought I was going to pursue equine medicine as a large-animal veterinarian. Little did I know that my allergies to all things with fur would help guide me over to “human medicine,” as I like to call it. My love for the sciences and healing has thankfully only continued as I’ve navigated this journey through medical school.
Accepted: You’re currently in the process of residency interviews. How has this process been for you? What specialty are you looking at practicing in?
Shannon: Exhausting. Seriously. I’ve been gone from home since the very beginning of September and living out of the same large suitcase. And yet, as exhausting as it’s been, this season of travel has been so rewarding. I’ve had the opportunity to work with diverse patient populations at some of the top medical facilities in each state, in addition to exploring more of God’s creation in the various climates and cities I’ve had the honor of working in. That being said, I am ready to head home in approximately one week 🙂 I am currently in the process of applying to pediatric residencies, with the intent to pursue a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine.
Accepted: You chronicle your journey through life and med school on Instagram. Can you share a little about what readers can find, and what motivated you to share your life’s adventures?
Shannon: Absolutely! Come follow along with the daily fun on my Instagram account @Dynamic_DO. Here you’ll learn a little more about me and my family as we adventure through life together. When I’m not in a white coat tending to patients, you can find me in our backyard fruit/veggie/herb garden, mucking stalls and riding our horse “Annie” at the barn, or simply photographing what I consider to be life’s sweetest moments on film (i.e. puppy snuggles, date nights with my best friend, DIY projects, etc.). I enjoy being able to share my passions with you all (the “public”), as my hope is to inspire others to find joy in things outside of the mundane, whether that be work or not. I believe life is all about balance. And sometimes we all just need to grab a glass of wine, bake some cookies, and cuddle on the couch with those we love.
Accepted: Lastly, can you share your three “survival” tips for those just starting out on their med school journey?
1. Buy a great planner, and use it! I literally look at my planner multiple times a day just to stay organized, because let’s be real, life gets crazy busy and this brain of mine can’t keep up with all the to-do’s!
2. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, uplift you, and speak truth to you. Whether that be a spouse, family member, or mentor. Find them, listen to them, and let them know frequently just how much you appreciate them.
3. Take time to do things outside of medicine. This can look vastly different for many people. For me, it involves being present at home with family, daily barn chores in my rubber boots, or escaping to the gym for a little body-mind yoga rejuvenation. Whatever this may be for you, seek it out daily! Medicine is wonderful, but it has the tendency to be all-consuming for many. I encourage you to never let this academic and career journey define you – allow your unique talents and interests to direct your life, and I know you’ll be a better physician because of it.
You could follow Shannon’s story by checking her out on Instagram (@Dynamic_DO). Thank you Shannon for sharing your story with us – we wish you continued success!
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Do you want to be featured in Accepted’s blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.