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Caitlin Whelan

Caitlin Whelan
Class of 2007
Major: Biology/Anthropology

I started College convinced I was going to be a nursing graduate of Seattle University. Once I started taking classes, and volunteering at Swedish Medical Center, I changed my mind. Although I respect the nursing profession, it wasn't right for me. I knew I wanted to be a physician. I knew once I made that decision I had a long road of pre-requisites ahead of me, and I couldn't afford to stay at Seattle University.

I transferred to Western Washington University between my freshman and sophomore years. I fell in love with Western when I visited on one of those rare sunny spring weekends. I decided on the Biology/Anthropology degree, because it allowed me flexibility to take the classes I needed for medical school, as well as interesting cultural classes. While in school I applied and was accepted to the Lifestyle Advisor program on campus. I was accepted to the CPR/FA group, and spent the next 2 years teaching classes to my peers. I also had the pleasure of working for the Career Services Center. The extremely supportive staff helped me with my resume, applying for internships, and just general morale boosting! Between my Junior and Senior year I was able to participate in a life-altering internship in San Ignacio, Belize. I worked for over 3 weeks in a very rural hospital, performing basic triage, vital signs, and registering patients.
I am a planner, and was able to stick to a schedule of classes to finish on time. This included taking the Organic Chemistry series in the summer (Chem 351, 352, and 354) all in about 10 weeks. This planning allowed me to graduate a quarter early in March 2007. I worked hard in my classes and was able to graduate with excellent grades, which would help me with admission into Medical School. I also knew to help my admission into Medical School I would have to find some "hands-on" experience in a hospital setting. I applied to numerous jobs at St. Joseph Hospital, here in Bellingham, and finally landed a position in the Cardiac Recovery Unit. I took the summer after graduation to study and take the MCATS. Between work and applying to Medical Schools, I was just as busy as I had been in school. Working in the hospital was the best decision I had made. I was able to watch procedures, interact with staff, and even shadow physicians. I also gained an in-depth understanding of how the administrative side of the hospital works. In January of 2008 I was interviewed by a couple of Medical Schools, including the University of Washington. Within a week, I found out I was accepted! My mock interview at the Career Services Center, as well as the solid preparation at Western made me well prepared for my interview. I am excited to say I will begin the next step in my education at the University of Washington in Seattle in August!

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Page Updated 05.14.2013