Kathleen Herman ’17 found a silver lining after a water crisis in South Africa caused her to cancel a summer medical mission trip she had been looking forward to. Instead she found an opportunity to hone her medical skills closer to home – much closer – in her home state of Pennsylvania while working for a dermatologist.
Read more about Kathleen:
“I have been interested in medicine for as long as I can remember. Converse gave me some opportunities that allowed me to explore medicine and other fields while I was there during undergrad. I did stem cell research at the Gibbs Cancer Center with Dr. Cindy McKinney and volunteered at the internal outreach program at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM). All of these things really drove home my love for medicine as well as made me competitive when applying to medical schools. I was also very active on campus with student government, clubs, and athletics. I like to think I learned to manage my time and my loves while there.
Converse gave me opportunities that allowed me to explore medicine and other fields.
Dermatology was just something that personally I had a close relationship with. My mentor, who also attended an all women’s college, was a big part of my childhood. Last year, when we had our white coat ceremony at school she was able to come down and give me my white coat and has always had a major presence in my life. She is the pediatric dermatologist that I shadowed and worked for this summer.”
I was able to help with procedures and learn quite a lot about skin disorders and just generalized practice while working in her office. I also had the opportunity to learn some of the office aspects of medicine including working with pharmaceutical reps and insurance companies, which we don’t really learn about here at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.
I know it isn’t a South Africa trip, but it was really beneficial to me. It was also great to take what I am learning in the classroom and apply it to the real world. Really keeps me going on these days when I’m studying for 8-9 hours!”