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Living the Dream

Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 2:59pm

Mackensie Yore, Class of 2004, originally from Greenville, is now a medical student at Stanford in San Francisco, CA. We caught up with Mackensie and she shared what she's done since GSSM and how her time on campus has shaped her life and career choice. Way to go, Mackensie!

Since GSSM, I graduated from Wellesley College in 2008 and was awarded a 2008-2009 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. During my fellowship, I spent a year living in Ireland, Ghana, India, China, and Argentina, studying attitudes in different cultures towards people with birth defects and how they are treated medically in different parts of the world. At the end of my fellowship, I returned to Ghana to help a team of local doctors and students start a birth defects monitoring program. When I returned to the U.S., I moved to New York City to work for a medically-related non-profit. A few months into my job, an opportunity arose to work with the World Health Organization on a maternal and neonatal health project in Sub-Saharan Africa. So, I moved to Tanzania and spent the next year and a half there, coordinating a pilot study at eight hospitals across Africa. I applied to medical school while living abroad and started at Stanford right after the pilot study ended. I'm now in my second year of med school and loving it.

When I came to GSSM, I knew that I eventually wanted to become a doctor, but I didn’t know much about physician-scientists and hadn’t thought about the possibility of combinging patient care with research. I had a great summer research experience (SPRI) at USC investigating a gene-therapy method of treatment for epilepsy, and I met several practicing physicians who integrated research into their schedules. That experience increased my awareness of the various career paths for physicians. I graduated from GSSM wanting to be a physician-scientist. Although my research interests have evolved from lab-based, biomedical science to medical anthropology and global health, the science and research training I received at GSSM provided a solid foundation for my work today.

We asked Mackensie to share her favorite memory of her time at GSSM. Here's what she said:

On Tuesday mornings during Senior year, waking up early, putting on waders, grabbing a bunch of nets and buckets, and boarding the minibus with my Vertebrate Biology classmates and Dr. Bill for a half-day of walking through woods and streams to look for and catch small critters.


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