Michele Beaudoin looks to leap from ABCs to MD

Julia Kaplowitz

Grace McCarthy, Staff Writer

It was 10:00 on a school night. Michele Beaudoin ’14 had just finished her homework and had switched to watching “House” on Netflix. There was a light, tentative knock on her door, and her dad popped his head around. He asked to come in, and as he did, Beaudoin caught a glimpse of a small white envelope grasped between his fingers. He handed it to Beaudoin, and her eyes shot to the five blue letters stamped on the stark white paper: UCONN.

Three weeks ago, Beaudoin had gone for an interview at UCONN for the Combined Program in Medicine. She was told at the interview she would be contacted by email, so she had been checking her emails “every five seconds.” Disappointment surged through her head as she looked at the small envelope, knowing small often meant rejection.

As she ripped open the envelope and pulled out the enclosed letter, her face turned from despair to delight. “It is a distinct pleasure to inform you that the Admissions Committee of the School of Medicine has voted to accept you as a student in the Combined Program in Medicine,” the letter read.

“I started crying, my whole family started crying and my dad put on the song ‘Happy,’ and we all danced around the house,” she said.

The Combined Program in Medicine at UCONN received over 800 applications but in previous years has only accepted about 15 people into the program. At the program, Beaudoin will complete four years of undergrad which consists of basic pre-med training. After she graduates from UCONN undergraduate, she will then complete four years of medical school, and then will graduate from medical school. Following that, she hopes to go on to her residency. She is currently unsure what she wants to specialize in.

Beaudoin is considering surgery but is aware she has plenty of time to figure it out.

“It fascinates me that what’s going on under the surface can be radically different from what’s going on outside.”

She was also accepted into the Albany Medical College at Union College; however, she chose UCONN for its unity and collaboration among students.

Beaudoin has wanted to be a doctor since she was a little girl. She is highly allergic to peanuts, has asthma and acid reflux and so was constantly surrounded by doctors and medicine when she was growing up.

“I know what it’s like when doctors treat you really well, and I know what it’s like when doctors don’t treat you very well” she said.

When Beaudoin was little, she was put in a clinical trial for peanut allergies and described it as “the absolute worst experience.” However, she also recalls fond memories with her great asthma doctor. “He explained things to my mom when she was scared out of her mind in a way that was helpful but not demeaning,” she said.

Beaudoin’s mom convinced her to consider becoming a doctor due to her childhood being constantly in the medical scene; however, what really encouraged her to pursue her dream was attending an EMT class at Bridgeport Hospital during her sophomore year.

Leading up to the class,she was nervous to think someone’s life could be put in her hands, but when she arrived at the hospital for the first time, she felt right at home. “When I was working on the ambulance I loved the patient contact and really making a difference, so I just knew I wanted to be a doctor,” she said.

She recalls a time early in her EMT training when a patient came to the hospital from a motorcycle accident.

“I got to watch as a doctor stitched up this huge laceration on the back of the patient’s head. I was absolutely enchanted, and I knew that this is what I had to do with my life.”

Beaudoin has two close family friends who are both in the medical field, who have supported and encouraged her passion for medicine.

“Their love for it and seeing them always be a part of it really inspired me.”

These friends were constantly at her bedside anytime there was a medical issue.

Beaudoin learned that “it is always better to be the person that knows something, than to be like my mother who was always frantic when it came to medical emergencies.”

Theron Kissinger, Beaudoin’s AP Calculus teacher said, “She is going to make such a good doctor because she always has a smile on her face. She is going to have an incredible bed- side manner, which is what a lot of doctors nowadays don’t have.” He applauded her success saying, “It doesn’t surprise me one bit; this is right up her alley.”