When we interview our clinicians for their video profiles, we get to learn some interesting information about their lives outside of caring for our patients. Although most knew early in life that they wanted to pursue a career in medicine, we’ve met several clinicians who decided to pursue medicine as a second career.
In this series, we share stories from some of our clinicians about where they started and how they found their way to a career in medicine.
Dr. Justin Smith – I was a marine biology major in college and worked for a lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) that studied deep sea ecology (hydrothermal vents and animals that lived around them.) I worked in that same lab as a research assistant for a year after college. I then went on to work for the Catalina Island Marine Institute for 4 years teaching marine biology, island ecology, and scuba diving. I worked for another UCSB lab studying seasonal cycles of krill population in Antarctica, and then I worked for the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole in Falmouth as a Science Officer for undergraduate research on tall ships (schooners) for a year. My wife and I moved to Boston and I got a job doing vision research with children, which led me to think about going back to school to become an optometrist. I enjoyed working with kids and wanted to do something professionally that would allow me to make a more immediate impact on improving people’s lives while still being involved in teaching and research. Being an eye doctor allowed me to do all that (and keep my socks dry.)
Dr. Brenda Anders Pring – During college and after graduation I worked on political campaigns for the US Senate and Presidency. This led to positions at the US Department of Education and ultimately to the White House where I was part of the press office. I transitioned from government work and went on to Lifetime Television where I was an executive focused on developing public service programming and activities. I decided to continue to help people, in a more direct way, and pursued a career in medicine. Now, as a pediatrician, I combine my earlier experiences with current work as an advocate for children.