Hey, everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts. I have been juggling grad school and MCAT studying. I have an official date! January 19, 2019. Both terrifying and exciting! So happy to be able to bring you this interview out of a busy week! I have been following Dr. Ashley Denmark on Instagram for awhile and have enjoyed watching her live life. I have been inspired by her journey and was thrilled when she agreed to an interview. Here it is! Be sure to share, like, and subscribe for more content.
- Tell me a bit about yourself. What is your professional background? Where did you go to school? What year are you? Where are you from?
I went to Spelman College, majored in biology. Post bacc at Umass Boston/Harvard, Master of Neuroscience Tulane and VCOM- Carolinas Campus for med school.
- Movie? TV show? Book?
Movie: The Notebook
TV show: Shark Tank
Book: When breath becomes air
- Why medicine?
I know it sounds cliché but I really enjoy caring for people and I love the autonomy
- Why family medicine?
I love the variety. With family medicine, your day is never the same. One moment I could be caring for newborn and the next I could be managing acute heart failure or multiple sclerosis.
- Tell me about your family/spouse. How have they supported you through school/work?
My family is everything. My mom was a state worker and dad a carpenter. My mom and dad always supported my dreams. Never was there a moment that they didn’t encourage me. They never restricted me or put limits on my dreams. My husband was also very supportive of my journey. From the MCAT to my family med boards he has been one one of my biggest cheerleaders always keeping me focused and encouraged.
- How do you balance home-work life?
Honestly, time management and knowing how to multi-task. To have a good work life balance you must know how to do these two things.
- Do you consider yourself a non-traditional premed student? If so, how has your experience as a non-traditional premed student helped you in school/work?
Non-traditional. My journey was long with a lot of delayed gratification moments. I really dreaded my journey because it wasn’t “on my schedule” but now as a board-certified attending, I truly value the journey I travelled and wouldn’t chage it for the world because it helped mold me into the doctor I am today.
- What is a typical day like for you?
Wake up at 6am and get my 3 kids ready, start work at 8:00am. See patients until 12, lunch and then clinic again until 4:00. Head home and enjoy family time 🙂
- What advice would you give pre-med students/medical students hoping to have a family during their medical journey?
It’s possible to have both. The key is having a strong village to help support you. spouse, family, neighbors, church, whatever…..you must have a network of people to support you.
- The golden question: What is the difference between DO and MD? What is osteopathic medicine? Why did you choose MD/DO over the other?
DO is doctor osteopathic medicine. Only difference is that we learn extra 200 hours of OMM which allows us to treat and diagnose neuro/musculoskeletal dysfunction. MD and DO train at the same residency. I applied to MD/DO but VCOM was my top choice because I liked their technology and emphasis of primary care and early exposure to clinical experience
- What are some experiences you had that stood out on your application?
I think my unique journey during my gap years. I worked lots of odd jobs- Macy’s, CVS, a greenhouse. I think this demonstrated determination and my willingness to pursue every avenue to become a doctor which have insight into my commitment to becoming a doctor.
- Do you have any advice regarding studying, the MCAT, applying to schools?
Know prospective school stats i.e grades, demographics, MCAT- will help you know where to aim and keep you on track to becoming a competitive applicant. Always stay on top of your school work. If you are struggling academically, get help!
13. How did you find DO doctors to shadow?
I called local DO physicians.
14. Finally, do you have any special words of warning or encouragement as a result of your experience?
Always believe in yourself. This is the most important thing you need in order to be successful. If you don’t believe in yourself, you will not go far. Also understand it takes time to become a doctor. It’s not an overnight process. Get comfortable with idea of delayed gratification.
Thank you, Dr. Denmark, for sharing your journey with us! If you want to read more motivational posts like this, check out my other interviews! And remember,
Thanks for visiting my blog! Be sure to check out my other posts. More to come soon! Until then be kind and remember tomorrow depends on what you do today. Hope you enjoyed reading! — Taylor ❤