How Seven MICDS Alumnae are Making Their Mark on the World of Medicine
MICDS alumnae are commonly known for shattering glass ceilings—from the graduates of Mary Institute in the 1860s who were pioneers for women in education, to today, where graduates from various backgrounds go on to attend the nation’s most selective colleges and universities, participate in competitive research fellowships and internships, and enter STEM fields around the globe. When it comes to the MICDS Class of 2008, seven alumnae are doing some shattering of their own as they claim their spaces in the field of health professions with M.D. after their names—an impressive number from one class! In the following spread, read what these young women have accomplished and how they reflect on MICDS’ role in their success.
Q: Did you always know you wanted to be a doctor? What motivated you to become one?
Megan Eyunni Pinnamaneni: I didn’t grow up thinking about a career in medicine. During sophomore year of high school, I started volunteering with BJC Hospice and at an international medical camp. Through these experiences, I started to develop an interest in pursuing a career in medicine and advocacy.
Ariana Mooradian: I wanted to be a doctor for a long time. I think, in the early years, that was influenced by family members who are physicians, but over time I could see that it was well-suited to what I wanted to do in life personally and professionally. I knew I wanted a challenging and fast-paced career but also one centered around helping others.
Megan Gornet: I always knew I wanted to be a doctor! Growing up with two parents as physicians (OB-GYN and orthopedic surgery), I was groomed from a young age to appreciate what it means to take care of patients and have a passion for science. I think my MICDS classmates knew this about me too; my peer-selected “25 years later” superlative in the yearbook was about my life as a future doctor.
Stephanie Cousins: I am the first doctor on both sides of my family, coming from a lineage of teachers, lawyers and entrepreneurs. So in a way, serving others and giving back to my community is in my DNA. I’ve always known I wanted to be a doctor, a surgeon in particular. My earliest memory was in 4th grade, when I sutured a dead frog’s leg back together. My mom found me with gloves, a mask, needle and thread!
Krissy Wymore: I don’t have a family background in medicine, and I knew I didn’t want to be a lawyer or join the military, which are my parents’ backgrounds. But, it’s hard to pinpoint when or why I decided I wanted to become a doctor. I’ve always been drawn to science. It was my strong suit growing up, and I was the kid who wasn’t grossed out when we did dissections.
Kelsey Anderson: After graduation, I knew I wanted to do something in the STEM field, but I didn’t decide I wanted to become a doctor until college. My motivation was to join a field that was both rewarding and innovative—this field is constantly growing and changing, which makes every day different.
Sami Morley: I decided I wanted to be doctor in high school. Medicine is the perfect combination of science and interpersonal interaction. Also, my dad had a rare illness when I was growing up and was treated by incredible physicians. From watching him, I learned the importance of innovative medicine, but even more so, of compassionate care.
Q: In what way did MICDS prepare you for life after graduation?
Megan Eyunni Pinnamaneni: The School’s mandated extra- curricular activities forced me to be efficient with my time and learn how to incorporate my social life into my busy schedule. These experiences helped me manage my time wisely during medical school and residency.
Ariana Mooradian: It was a fantastic place to spend some of the most formative years of life. A truly remarkable aspect is the level of respect teachers have for students. I was made to feel that my voice, interests and concerns mattered.
Megan Gornet: My education was unparalleled among my college peers in preparing me for the academic rigor of Vanderbilt. I was able to excel in my classes because of the extensive academic preparation I received, though that excellence was most reflected in what I was able to balance outside the classroom.
Stephanie Cousins: MICDS fine-tuned my work ethic and helped me to multitask—to balance academics and athletics, demanding excellence in both arenas. These skills are tantamount to my everyday life. More importantly, my teachers, coaches and friends challenged and continue to inspire me to be a better citizen, advocate and ally.
Krissy Wymore: MICDS gave me a firm foundation in sciences, and I was able to take a variety of classes with teachers who challenged me. In addition, I learned the importance of relationship building and compassion. These are important attributes as I work one-on-one with patients—especially in the field of infertility.
Kelsey Anderson: I learned hard work, dedication and perseverance at MICDS. It was definitely a great school to prepare you for the workload of college and medical school.
Sami Morley: It prepares you well for any career by providing a well-rounded education. I felt overly prepared for college, which allowed me to excel even in difficult classes. I felt lucky to be able to build upon such a strong foundation.
Q: What is it about MICDS that inspires students and young women especially to pursue their passions?
Megan Eyunni Pinnamaneni: The community is filled with extremely successful and hardworking women. Amazing guest speakers, inspiring teachers and highly motivated parents constantly surrounded us. There is endless inspiration for young women!
Ariana Mooradian: It not only encouraged success but expected it from an early age. I remember Ms. Armstrong in 5th grade telling us to take advantage of opportunities. Ultimately, one of the best resources was one another—a class full of intelligent, kind, active classmates whom I learned from and made lifelong connections.
Megan Gornet: I met several of my closest friends at MICDS, including now Drs. Krissy Wymore and Kelsey Anderson. We have always pushed each other to succeed and to relish in each others’ successes. After hundreds of hours spent together from ages 13 to now, I can’t say it’s surprising that the three of us all chose OB-GYN as our specialties.
Stephanie Cousins: It gives students a great degree of autonomy. In that lies the freedom of expression, to create a path that is uniquely yours. MICDS lays the foundation of resolve, resilience and strength to go boldly in the direction of your dreams.
Krissy Wymore: We were surrounded by successful women. I was grateful to have friends whose parents are doctors, some of whom I’ve done research with and studied alongside. In addition, I was able to focus on what I was really passionate about.
Kelsey Anderson: The many successful and career- driven women I met through MICDS are the reason why I am a doctor. I met two of my best friends there, and both of their mothers exemplify the ability to balance career and family, which inspired me to pursue a career I was passionate about.
Sami Morley: The community is full of incredible female role models—teachers, administrators, parents and alumni. These individuals are valuable resources—some of whom I still communicate with today.