Ashley Roxanne Peterson


Hometown: Orange County California!

Name of Undergraduate Institution: UNC Charlotte

Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Anthropology B.A., Sociology Minor

Name of Medical School: Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM)

Favorite Quote: “Faith it until you make it”

Contact InformationEmail me anytime – or visit my blog at !

Additional Links:

Twitter @dailymedicines

IG @dailymedicineblog

Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?

I decided to become a doctor for the cliché reason that I suppose most people say: to help people. To me, health is one of the most important aspects of humanity. Our health is impacted by almost everything we do. Likewise, our health impacts almost everything. Considering my love for cultures and science, medicine struck me as a perfectly fitting field. Over time I volunteered in health-related areas and realized how much I like being around people, leading others, and creating real change. Thus, obtaining my medical degree has been my #1 goal since sophomore year of college.

Right now, I go to an Osteopathic Medical School outside of Atlanta, Georgia: GA-PCOM. I am an OMS-II about to take boards and then start rotations (my place to shine!)

If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell her?

Do not pursue the Chemistry degree you think is necessary. When I first got to college I was the definition of a naive college freshman: I was 15 years old! I would like to think I knew what I was doing but alas, I did not even know half of what I needed to reach my fullest potential. I did not even realize how many different degrees there were to consider. Now looking back, my course load would have been very different if I decided freshman year I definitely wanted to be a doctor, I did not have to obtain a Chemistry degree to do so, and I focused more on my GPA. I had an okay GPA but honestly I could have made straight As if I studied like I study now. Take a lesson from me and decide as fast as you can about medicine. It sounds like a daunting task but for me it clicked quickly – hopefully you can have the same experience and discover your passions early in college. This will allow you to stay ahead of the game and prepare better.

What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a similar path as yours?

In two words of wisdom I would:

Decide if medicine is truly the right fit for you

There are so many ways to help others. Teachers help others, nurses help others, construction workers help others. Considering these facts, becoming a doctor has to mean more than simply helping others because of the ever-changing medical workforce. Medicine is evolving along with new laws, health insurance coverage, and a growing population. Also, physicians are becoming burnt out at an alarming rate. Despite these truths, I am still motivated to become a physician but I find a lot of people struggling to maintain the rigour and passion that once got them into medical school. Maybe they missed out on a career that could have been a better fit?

Grind harder, party later = 4.0

I am glad my party days are over! In all seriousness, I actually do not drink alcohol but I would go out more often than I would like to admit. My grades could have been better! If I were a little more focused, who knows where I could have landed in my career path. In all, do not go to every party, skip a few. Nevertheless, enjoy your college days – you will miss them. Find a work-play balance. Play hard, then work even harder.

What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to medical schools?

Apply broadly

When I applied, I believe only applied to 15 schools. This was not enough schools. Yes, only apply to schools you want to go to and will make the toughest 4 years of your life happy. But for me location did not matter because I moved a lot during my childhood, so I could have applied to more schools outside of the Southeast. I am thankful I was accepted to GA-PCOM and a few other schools but I did not give many other schools a fair shake – learn from my mistake.  

Get a mentor

If there was ever a time to get a mentor it would be during application season. Your mentor will probably have connections, insider knowledge, tips and tricks, and other handy advice they have learned over the years about admissions. Believe it or not, admissions is often more than a GPA and MCAT numbers game. Committees really do read your personal statements and a bad interview can ruin even the best 4.0, perfect MCAT student. Let your mentor be a guide; you do all of the work to get up the mountain, but it really, really helps to have someone tell you whether to turn left or right at the two roads diverged in a yellow wood.

Do you have any passions outside of school? If so, what are they?

For me it is fashion, as it is a great artform to study. You can tell whether I am in a good mood or not usually by my choice of clothing. If I dressed up, I feel great. If I wear jeans, it could just be a neutral day, but if you see me dressed casually and not going to the gym – worry about me! It is funny because I truly relay my personality through my clothing choices. Fashion is art to me, but it is bizarre sometimes in medical school. In the big scheme of things I am comfortable in any clothing, scrubs, or my newest thrift find but nothing beats putting on the perfect outfit and heading to lectures – it gives me a lot of confidence! Other than fashion I enjoy traveling when I can and doing new things, for I believe in trying new adventures at least once.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love Alabama football and watching a game on the weekends with good food and Fall weather is one of the most relaxing activities ever. I also enjoy going to sporting events when I have time to travel because the atmosphere and ability to be around so many people is electrifying!

How have you been able to deal with your romantic relationship and medical school at the same time?

Since he is also in medical school, it is easier for him to understand. I suggest finding someone who can understand or at least try to understand how much work is involved in this process. I study more than 40 hours a week – I would do better having a full time job. Not everyone, even family, realizes that medical school is my job right now and requires almost all of my focus. Even my blog is about medical school and medicine so I can stay focused on medicine at all times! Try and utilize your relationship as your “peace” also. My boyfriend can calm me down better than anyone – he is my break from the chaos of school. Find and maintain a healthy relationship at all cost, do not let it become a distraction from your goals. We both will be rewarded by our hard work and sometimes that means having date night studying at Barnes & Nobles or pushing Valentine’s day dinner three days so you can study for a test in 2 days. Pick your battles but also make time for your partner – they matter more than an extra 30 minutes of studying but they should also accommodate your major tests. Balance it out!

This is some fantastic advice Roxy! I appreciate you for sharing these words of wisdom with us, and thank you for helping to spark some inspiration in those reading this feature! 

Health Career Spotlights Home Page

Posted on November 7th, 2016

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