Maybe it goes back to that doctor’s kit Emily Redman had as a kid.
But her eighth-grade biology teacher sealed the deal. At 13, Redman had no reservations about wanting a medical career.
By the summer of her freshman year in high school in Webster, N.Y., she was shadowing her pediatrician, whose colleagues also took the time to explain their work to her. She did the same thing the next summer, and ended up volunteering for three years in the pediatric unit at Rochester General Hospital. Last summer she switched to Strong Memorial Hospital, shadowing an anesthesiologist who then hooked her up with a one-day-a-week volunteering gig in a mitochondrial lab at the Medical Center.
“I’m rather a perfectionist, so I do more than just understand what I need to,” says Redman, who has yet to decide whether to major in chemistry or biochemistry. “I take it one step farther. I definitely know that medicine is what I want to do, and all of this exposure along the way is keeping me motivated.”
She was admitted to the University’s highly competitive Rochester Early Medical Scholars program, which limits enrollment to 10 students each year and guarantees acceptance to the School of Medicine and Dentistry after graduation.
“It’s always been my goal to come to the University of Rochester’s medical school, and to have the offer on my plate right out of high school—I didn’t expect to receive such an honor,” says Redman, who attended a premed camp on campus as a high school freshman.
Now that she’s in the mitochondrial lab two days a week, observing how heart valves recover from heart attacks, however, her interests are broadening and there may be a completely different project on the horizon.
The social atmosphere on campus was another draw. “In high school, a lot of kids don’t take things seriously, and it’s nice to be surrounded now by kids who are more like me,” she says. “They’re all very smart, which makes the experience more challenging, and they understand how to do what they enjoy.”
In her spare time, Redman participates as a member of Rotaract, a Rotary Club–sponsored organization that hosts cultural and community events.
“If it’s not something productive, then I really can’t do it,” she says. “I like to fill my time. I think that’s what got me here and that’s why I’m doing what I love. I’m looking forward to being here for the next eight years.”