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Medical Student Profile: Why I Picked Brown University

A third-year medical student explains why she chose to attend Brown University.

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Marina MacNamara is a 35-year-old student at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School. Here, in her own words, she tells U.S. News why she chose to attend the school to pursue her interest in primary care:

Medical school is, quite simply, hard. Thus, while I was applying, I was determined to find a place where I felt comfortable, where the point was not to break my spirit but to push me and stretch my brain. I quickly discovered that Brown was that place.

But what does it really mean to feel comfortable as a medical student? This clearly varies by individual. First and foremost, I wanted to be at a school where my commitment to eventually practicing primary care would be supported by the faculty and my peers alike. Brown not only boasts some of the top primary care residency programs, it also includes family medicine as a core clerkship; that is, a required rotation. These were important factors in my decision making.

As an older student, I was concerned about feeling isolated. But that hasn't happened, and I continue to be amazed by my schoolmates' diverse interests and experiences, from professional music-making to nongovernmental organization development to meditation, reflecting a group of very driven, intelligent students who are fun to work with.

I also quickly found that whether in large group lectures, small group discussions, or the clinical setting, the faculty as a whole is a stellar group of physicians who clearly love to teach. Through them, I have been able to explore a wide range of research and activities, from refugee health issues to the challenges faced by physician-mothers, an issue close to my heart.

Indeed, as a third-year medical student with a 2-year-old daughter, I have been grateful for the support I've received from faculty members and the administration as I integrate my new family into my chosen career. And, as I am learning, what better place to do so than Rhode Island, a tiny state with a huge personality.

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