The Research Design Associates Blog


The Empathy and Compassion of Nursing I got

The fact of the matter was that while I was interested in science I didn’t know how to absorb scientific or conceptual information. I would read the text about cells but I couldn’t grasp the concept of what cells were or how they worked, because I was too focused on trying to figure out how this magnified picture of a cell lived in my body! My teacher at that time operated under the assumption that the foundation of science had already been laid because this was in fact college, not grade school.

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My Path Into a STEM Field

After getting my massage certificate I started making a decent living and enjoyed my work immensely. I enjoyed interacting with and helping people.  As a result of not being educated early on I always found concepts difficult to grasp so being able to touch a muscle and call it by its name, or massage someone’s shoulders until they were loose came much easier to me. This massage skill was concrete and somewhat spiritual, but not necessarily intellectual. I felt comfortable with this work and starting this would give me the confidence I would need later to embark on new dreams.

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Turns Out Public Health Is My STEM Field

It seems obvious now, but it took some time to remember that I never went to medical school because of medicine; I went to medical school because of the role medicine allows me to have in the lives of the vulnerable, the sick, the scared.

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I thought Medicine Was My STEM Career of Choice

This blog, as you may know, is a way to document the path—however haphazard and zig-zag it may be –of “arriving” at a career in STEM.  At this point in my life, however, I feel much more like I’m becoming than arriving, so I consider this my attempt to describe a somewhat tumultuous journey to my fifth and final year in Emory University’s MD/MPH program.

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Experiences During Vet School Paved the Way For My Career

People I met during Veterinary School, externships and travel Created basis for my first veterinary jobs. They in turn helped me decide what type of career practice I wanted to be part of.

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Many Indirect Paths to Becoming an Equine Veterinarian

While I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian early, the roads to vet school had many obstacles and turns for a young gal from western Canada. There were many people and opportunities who helped along the winding route.

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Before STEM

Up until 4 years ago STEM wasn’t an acronym on my radar – much less in my career plan which started at the age of 5.  My mom took me along to archeological ‘digs’ led by a friend of hers who ran the excavations for the Tennessee Valley Authority.   I wanted to be an archeologist swooping into sites like Indiana Jones! 

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Introducing Women In STEM Fields

To explore how a dozen women got to their STEM careers, Research Design Associates will host 12 guest bloggers. They are women (mostly under 40) who will tell their stories of how they came to their careers in STEM fields. Their stories vary widely. The career paths are often hauling, changing and surprising. Each of these women made her way before government initiatives, through a wide variety of educational paths. I think you’ll find them interesting. I’m sure you’ll find their stories inspiring. Perhaps they will provide models to other women seeking a career in STEM fields.

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