Hometown: Livermore, CA
Undergrad: UC Davis
Major: Biological Sciences
Graduate: Georgetown University
Graduate Major: Physiology and Biophysics
Med Specialty: Undecided
WHY I CHOSE MU
Hello Everybody! My name is Katie Bernal and it still feels like yesterday that I was going through the process of applying to medical school. Looking at my info, I bet you’re asking why in the world would anyone move out of California, you crazy person! It’s a bit of a tale, let me tell you.
I chose to pursue BioSci as my major at UC Davis because I loved the sciences, not because I was set on medicine. I was quite indecisive with what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew was that I came from a family full of teachers and that wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. It was during my first senior year (yes I took 2) at UC Davis that I discovered the incredibly powerful experience of using my love for science to help others while working as home staff for adults with developmental disabilities.
I knew I wanted to do something in medicine, but was unsure if I wanted to become a physician. There are no doctors in the family, but one nurse who advocated very strongly for me to follow her footsteps. I would spend the next several years exploring different fields of medicine: nursing, physical therapy, behavioral health and even as an EMT.
It was during a physician shadowing experience where, standing in my first OR, I fell in love. This was it. I knew had to be a physician. After that, and since it had now been close to 5 years since I graduated, I went back to school and did the SMP at Georgetown in D.C.
Sometimes it takes a little longer to take the first step into becoming a physician and for me it took more than one try. Never fear and don’t give up. I gained so many amazing experiences in that time and grew into the person I am today; so that when the profession called, I was ready.
I first heard about Mizzou Med from the awesome Robin Clay. The more I learned about the patient-based learning (PBL) program, Mizzou’s message and collaborative learning environment it fostered, the more I knew this was a place I could see myself learn well and be happy. I am not one for the lecture-based traditional style as I have a hard time staying focused and sitting still for a long time. To me, PBL was the perfect fit.
At my interview day I was impressed with the family-like atmosphere of the place. I stayed with an Ambassador during my visit and even though they were in the midst of STEP studying, they did not hesitate to make me feel welcomed. That collaborative environment was a huge driver for me and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to come here.
Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you have questions, concerns or simply need some positive vibes!