Hometown: Roseboro, NC
Name of Undergraduate Institution: North Carolina Central University
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Biology and Chemistry
Name of Medical School: Wake Forest School of Medicine (for Post-Bacc and Med School)
Residency Program: Obstetrics & Gynecology at Wake Forest Baptist Health
Favorite Quote: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I’m an intern at Wake Forest in Obstetrics & Gynecology. I knew when I started medical school that I was interested in women’s health and my decision to pursue Ob/Gyn never wavered! I’ve always had a passion for mentoring young women (in addition to health disparities, health literacy, etc). Having the opportunity to educate them about their bodies and helping them make informed decisions about their care is very rewarding. I consider myself to be a “doer,” and Ob/Gyn has more surgery than I think people realize. Not to mention, being able to deliver a baby and to be a part of such an intimate moment for my patients is a pretty incredible perk of my job.
If you could go back and have a chat with your 1st year postgraduate self, what would you tell her?
I would tell myself that when God plants a dream in your heart, He will give you everything you need to fulfill that dream. Medical school was full of moments that challenged my academic confidence, but going to Wake Forest was one of the best decisions I ever could have made. I met some of the most supportive friends and faculty members and was given multiple opportunities that I most likely wouldn’t have had if I had gone elsewhere.
What advice would you give to a medical student looking to pursue a similar path as yours?
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received is to talk to different attendings to see what their life is like outside of residency. Everyone works long hours in residency and you have to rotate through sub-specialties that may not be your favorite, but once you’re done with training, you can pick and choose what you want to do in your practice.
What is a major challenge you have had to overcome and how did you do so?
STANDARDIZED TESTS! I’m still working on it, actually. I think it’s easy to feel as though you need to do what you see your classmates doing (as far as studying, doing research, etc). Be honest with yourself and be confident in the way you learn. For me, I can’t sit down with a book and read all day; I have to do practice questions. Stick with what works for you!
What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to residency?
Create your own advisory board of 3-4 people you trust to read/edit your personal statement, look over your application, and make phone calls on your behalf if needed. Too many cooks in the kitchen can cause confusion.
Can you please walk us through a typical workday?
I just finished my night float rotation on labor and delivery, which means I’ve been sleep deprived for the last month. We work 6 nights out of the week, from Sunday night to Saturday morning. I usually wake up around 4-5PM, depending on what time we’re scheduled to check out with the day team. (*insert first cup of coffee here*) As the night team, we’re responsible for all the patients who are currently laboring, those who are admitted to our high-risk OB/antepartum unit, those who are in-house for GYN surgeries, those who are postpartum and have already delivered, and any consults from the ED. We round to meet all the patients who are on L&D, then we split up tasks among the three of us who are the resident team this month. As the intern, I’m learning to be more efficient in triage, which is like a mini-ED for pregnant ladies. I’ll see these patients along with our off-service rotator (either a Family Medicine or Emergency Medicine intern) and dispo these patients with our attending (which means, do we admit them or do they go home). Throughout all of this, I’m returning phone calls from nurses about orders, going to the OR for C-sections with the attendings who are in private practice, running to L&D for patients who are about to deliver, and seeing consults down in the ED. After multiple cups of coffee, bad cafeteria food, and getting splashed with all sorts of bodily fluids, I get to go home around 6AM when the day intern gets to the hospital.
What has been your favorite memory so far in your career?
My favorite memory would be my first C-section as primary surgeon. It’s so surreal to be the one calling for the scalpel! Our program is unique in that we operate our first day of intern year (if you’re on an L&D rotation first) with a chief resident as your teacher on the other side of the table. Thank God for patient chiefs.
Thank you so much for all of your wisdom and for your very necessary perspective of medicine Timberly! You definitely have a very special career path; one that allows you to help bring new life into this world! You are greatly appreciated and I’m absolutely positive that you’ll continue to accomplish amazing things as you advance further into your training and eventually become a well-established physician!
Posted on April 11th, 2017