Women in STEM: Kally

Kally in her favorite suit

My 37th guest is Kally, a first year medical school with a degree in Spanish language and a passion for science, hiking, art and kickboxing.

Hi @futuredrkal_! First of all would you like to tell us something about you?

Hello! My name is Kally, I am a first year medical student at Midwestern University CCOM. I’m from a small town in Northeast Wisconsin and I graduated from Carroll University in May 2020 with a degree in Spanish language. I am a first generation college student and the first person in my family history to be pursuing a doctoral degree. Some of my hobbies include hiking, art, plants, and kickboxing.

When did you start your Instagram account? How did you get the idea?

I began my Instagram page just prior to starting orientation for medical school, I was inspired to start my page to encourage others to pursue medicine but have raw and open conversations regarding the rigor and dog-eat-dog mentality that accompany the premed/med student world.

Can you tell us something about how you balance work and private life? 

I’ve actually be going to do some thing new in this area, because I am notorious for not balancing work and play. I recently purchased a bullet journal and have been tracking habits to ensure I meet physical emotional and spiritual wellbeing each day. This can include things like going for a walk, sitting outside, listening to uplifting music, meditation, going for a short drive to clear my head, and power naps!

Kally enjoying her free time

During your academic studies how many women were in course? Why in your opinion?

My undergraduate university was largely female due to the nursing program, however in my hard science courses I saw a large blend of male and female students largely because the majority of our science staff were female. I think this largely contributed to women having confidence pursing STEM at my undergrad. Now in medical school, my class of first years is 55% female.

Have you ever felt harassed or being kept apart as a scholar because you are a woman?

I don’t feel that I’ve ever been exactly harassed due to my gender in STEM, but I do regularly feel as though my knowledge is taking less for certain and I am challenged more frequently as a woman. Despite having a very outgoing and talkative personality, I find that in some interactions I have been talked over and made to feel small.

How did you become passionate about science? 

I credit all of my passion for science to my high school biology teacher, who truly and still critical thinking and problem-solving skills in me as well. She was a brilliant teacher, biologist and an absolute inspiration to every student she interacted with. She truly embodied in inquisitive mindset and encouraged her students to become lifelong learners. In my last year’s of high school, I was fortunate to be her teaching assistant while also taking her upper level medical intervention course. In this experience, she showed me the behind the scenes of education and the sciences which fueled my passion even more. Unfortunately, last year she lost her battle to colon cancer at the age of 39.

Would you like to talk briefly about your job?

Currently, I am a first year medical student at Midwestern University CCOM. I have interest in public health, women’s health, obstetrics, and family medicine. I am very excited to begin rotations third year and get a better idea of what specialties I exactly plan to pursue, although I do know that I enjoy a fast pace working environment that is dynamic and is composed of a combination of clinical, procedural, and surgical care.

Thank you so much for your time. Lastly, can you give any advice to girls interested in STEM?

If you are a girl interested in STEM, my greatest piece of advice that resilience and dedication to something you are passionate about will forever be stronger than the voices around you telling you you’re incapable. Do not be afraid to fall in love with what you do, but be prepared to wake up everyday and fight for it!

Kally and her pipettes

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