Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Name of Undergraduate Institution: Wright State University
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Biological Sciences, Certificate in African American and Women's Gender Studies
Name of Medical School: Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, MD and MPH c/o 2017
Residency Program: Family Medicine – The Ohio State University Urban Track Family Medicine Residency
Favorite Quote: “To whom much is given, much is required.”
LinkedIn – Christen Johnson
Instagram – @RHOad2MD
Twitter – @RHOad2MD
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I just matched to my first choice residency and I am about 1 month from graduation with my MPH and 2 months from Medical School graduation. I can't say that I ever chose medicine. Medicine chose me at a very young age and I've been on the path for a long while. I've always loved science and the human body, answering questions, and helping people, which are all parts of being in medicine. As I have been following this path, I also found that I had an interest in population health and policy. I decided to pursue a Masters of Public Health alongside my MD, which I believe has been a Godsend and will assist me in my future endeavors.
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell her?
Everything will be okay! Keep your tutors; regardless if you need them for the grade or not, they truly are helpful. Never be afraid to ask for help or say that you don't know. Follow what you love and don't listen to people who try to sway you. Don't forget to stop and not just smell the flowers, but enjoy them when you have time. Keep working hard and keep God first and everything will come together.
What is a major challenge you have had to overcome and how did you do so?
Academically, General Chemistry – I sought out help from a tutor and focused my time studying it. It’s incredible how easy it is to avoid the subjects that you struggle with while studying.
Do you have another professional degree? If so, how has it impacted you?
I am finishing a MPH and I think it really makes seeing the patient as well as the population or the system that surrounds them easier. I find it easier to navigate the system and to understand upstream factors that affect patients. This has also opened the door for research for me and allows me to better ask questions that will positively impact the underserved communities that I hope to work in in the future.
Did you take some time off before medical school? If so, what did you do during that time?
I was an AmeriCorps member for a year and I worked helping kids with backgrounds much like mine to get to college. I'd say this was one of the most valuable experiences of my life.
Do you have any passions outside of school? If so, what are they?
I have a puppy kid – miniature poodle, named Imani who takes much of my free time.
I love art and I paint.
I ski and I run.
What were some of your involvements in college? Have those involvements helped you in any way in medical school?
I've been involved the SNMA since my freshman year of college and it has been incredibly helpful throughout my path to medical school, surviving medical school, leadership development, and research experience. I also founded the organization Women Encouraging Each other (WEE) during my freshman year of college at Wright State University and it has since become a national organization. I made life long friends that stayed a part of my life through out medical school. I'm also a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. which provided me with a great network and opportunities to utilize my medical interests to serve the community.
Thank you for taking the time to share some of yourself with us Christen! And congrats on matching to your top choice residency! You’re going to become an amazing physician and will continue to be an effective leader throughout your medical career! Best of luck to you!
Posted on April 27th, 2017