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Sue Winger

Sue Winger

Pre-Health Focus: Pre-Health (general/undecided)

Year: Junior

Major: Microbiology
Minors: Spanish and Pre-Health Professions Studies

Hometown: Spokane, WA.

Hobbies/Extracurricular Activities: I love to be outside. Whether I am hiking, boating, or fishing, it doesn't matter. I just really enjoy exploring the beautiful area that we live in. I am also passionate about traveling and experiencing other cultures. I believe it is important to recognize that there is not one "perfect" way to live. Traveling has taught me to keep an open mind about beliefs and customs that may be different from my own. Besides going outside or traveling, one of my favorite pastimes is hanging out with my family. My younger brother is my best friend, and we always seem to find something fun to do. I am also pretty lucky to have supportive parents who are down for random adventures.

Initial Interest: I am still undecided about my future career, but I know for sure that I want a job where I can apply my love for science/understanding the human body in order to serve others and help them feel their best. I do not remember a specific moment when I knew I wanted to pursue a healthcare related career. I just have always enjoyed my science classes the best, especially those pertaining to cells and disease processes. In addition, I love to be around people. After realizing those two facts about myself, I naturally fell into the health profession career path. And now that I sit here and think about it, I have been fortunate enough to have access to some great healthcare providers that I admire for their intellect and compassion. I want to be in a position one day to have a positive impact on others.

Experience Highlights: I have been lucky enough to go on three medical missions to Central America in order to further explore my interest in the healthcare field. I went with a former teammate from high school through an organization called Global Brigades. My first mission was to Nicaragua. We worked with rural communities around Esteli in a makeshift clinic. We were able to serve around 1,100 patients in just three days. My next two missions were to Panama. We worked with some of the indigenous tribes in the Darien Jungle. During the missions, I was able to shadow physical therapists, general practitioners, pharmacists, gynecologists, nurses, and dentists. We rotated throughout the different stations each day. One of my favorite stations was triage because I got to directly interact with the native community members. I got to practice my Spanish while perfecting skills such as blood pressure, respiration rate, and pulse. My brigade experiences have only strengthened my desire to work in healthcare. This summer, I decided to take a NAC class in order to add more skills to my toolbox. This was a very humbling experience, especially during my clinical hours at a retirement home. Nursing assistants are extremely busy with multiple patients and it is hard to find a balance between finishing all the tasks that need to be done and providing an empathetic ear to the residents when needed. What I take away from my experience is to never become so busy and robotic that the humanity of the patient is forgotten.

Advice for new Pre-Health Students: My biggest piece of advice to incoming students is to not get overwhelmed, take it day-by-day. Science majors are rigorous, and it is daunting to try and organize a schedule that hits all the requirements for future plans. I still struggle with this. However, it is so incredibly important to be present in the moment. We all have the opportunity to learn some amazing information here at the university. Do the very best you can and tackle each challenge as it comes. It will be worth it in the end!

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