Amy Huebschmann, MDLudeman Center Apr 1, 2017
When you were young, did you envision yourself growing up to become a doctor?
I recently rediscovered an old book from my childhood, Dr. Seuss’ All About Me, in which I scribbled from ages 5 to 9. One page asks, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I first wrote “doctor,” and then crossed that out and wrote “scientist.” I guess I had a lot of self-awareness in elementary school, as I’m currently pursuing a career as a physician-scientist!
How has your work positively impacted others?
My current research helps patients with type-2 diabetes become more physically active. One patient told me that the increase in exercise has helped him feel powerful in his life again—“like a champion,” in his words. Another patient told me I should get a Nobel Prize for doing this kind of work. So I think it’s helping people feel good about themselves and their lives.
If you had to go back and give your younger self one piece of advice relating to your future career, what would it be?
I would have told myself to more quickly seek out mentors in the fields that interested me. Some jobs sound great on paper, but when you actually observe the day-to-day work, you realize they’re not a good fit for you. Before starting my career as a physician-scientist, I was interested in environmental engineering. After a summer internship in the engineering field, I realized I wanted more interpersonal interaction and communication than engineering could offer. That ultimately pushed me to consider going to medical school.