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R-MC Student Experience: Rebecca Davis ’13
R-MC Student Experience: Rebecca Davis ’13
Rebecca Davis '13
Randolph-Macon College student
Rebecca Davis ’13
says she was shocked when she received an acceptance letter from George Washington University’s Early Selection Program.
“I was stunned,” says the Danville, Virginia native. “To be honest, I thought it was a joke until I read the letter for the fifth time. It is a great medical school, and I cannot wait to take part in their MD/Master of Public Health program.” Davis, a
major who plans to minor in
, wants a career in the medical field, and
R-MC’s Early Selection agreement with GWU
may be just what the doctor ordered.
“The medical field is in need of bilingual physicians,” explains Davis, who uses her Spanish-speaking skills when she volunteers at Saint Joseph’s Outreach Clinic and works in the emergency room at Saint Mary’s Hospital. “There are so many Spanish-speaking patients, but not enough bilingual physicians and nurses to properly communicate with them,” she says.
Davis is a member of R-MC’s Pre-health Society, a student-run initiative that brings in medical professionals—including R-MC alumni—to talk to students about career opportunities. “It’s great to be a part of the Society because it gives students valuable information about medical, dental and veterinary school,” says Davis, who also assists with R-MC’s on-campus Emergency Medical Services program.
Davis did an
2011 with Bon Secours Free Health Clinic and Care-A-van, which offers immunizations and free medical services to adults and children without health insurance. “I was a Spanish interpreter for the nurses and physicians,” she says. Spanish Professor Patricia Reagan helped secure the internship.
“I told her I wanted to volunteer at a place where I could build my language skills,” says Davis. “A few hours later, Professor Reagan told me she had arranged the internship. I cannot describe how much she has helped guide, instruct and encourage me,” she says. Life as an intern was exhausting, but fulfilling, says Davis. “Believe it or not, speaking Spanish all day is hard work!”
During summer 2011, Davis completed a research project in conjunction with R-MC’s unique
Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship
(SURF) program. “I worked with Professor Gubbels Bupp (biology) in determining the molecular pathway through which calorie restriction results in immune benefits,” says Davis. “We experimented with mice that we calorie-restricted for six weeks. Some of those mice had a particular gene, FoxO1, deleted from their genome, in order to help determine if expression of the gene is required for calorie restriction immune benefits. The data we obtained suggest that calorie restriction does result in immune benefits with the expression of FoxO1.” Davis is grateful to Gubbels Bupp for her mentorship.
“She helped me with my SURF proposal, and I worked alongside her in the lab,” says Davis. “It astounds me that Professor Gubbels Bupp can explain a very complex concept or procedure in terms that I can understand and follow.”
Stephen Davis ’77
, told her about R-MC when she was a child. “Dad said that he had many more opportunities at R-MC than his friends had at larger colleges,” she says. “When I was looking at colleges, he brought me here for a
. My friends at bigger schools say that they rarely get to interact with their professors. As many of my professors know, I ask a ton of questions, so it was important that I go to a college that has small class sizes.”
As for future plans, Davis says she plans on becoming a trauma surgeon or specializing in infectious diseases. “Right now, my top choice is trauma because I love the hands-on and problem-solving aspects of the job," shey says. "I work well under stress."
to read more stories about R-MC students.
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