Julia Hickey '23
There are so many reasons why I found myself in medicine. As an EMT, I remember the thrill of the siren call. As a daughter, I have witnessed my father’s strength and humor amidst multiple cancer diagnoses. As an advocate, I have learned about and want to continue supporting those who are often overlooked in the medical system. As a friend, I have enjoyed supporting others through their integrative health journeys and have also explored healing my own immune system through managing my diet. As a wilderness therapist, I empowered teenage girls as they busted coal to blow it into flames. All of these journeys led me to want to connect with people through medicine.
For a year after completing my undergraduate studies, I participated in a wilderness therapy program in Vermont. This meant I held a therapeutic space to encourage the emotional growth of teenagers struggling with mental health and behavioral adaptation issues. Living in the woods, teaching teenagers how to dig a latrine, solidified my path in medicine. Not only would working in an indoor setting reduce the potential for skin rashes, but the understanding and passion I gained from working with teenagers and figuring out how they thought and what prevented them from achieving their ideal outcomes made me realize that I love connecting with people and empowering them to make changes despite the barriers they face. I learned that growth was not linear and appreciated learning how to take small steps towards change. You can often find me hiking in my free time. Due to the joy I find in summiting a high peak, I found myself drawn to rural medicine to face the challenge of creativity in care where services are limited. My passion for mental health and preventative approaches and has led me to consider psychiatry or family medicine. I hope to advocate for patients and meet them where they are in their healthcare journeys, to facilitate an accessible and inclusive experience.