I am Dr. Amy Goodrich Harris from Ebensburg, PA
., which is a small, rural town two hours East of Pittsburgh. I attended medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM.) I went to one of LECOM's branch campuses in Greensburg, PA (1 hour east of Pittsburgh.) My interest in medicine came to fruition while practicing as a Physician Assistant at a Pulmonary Hypertension clinic for a Pulmonary and Critical Care group several years ago. My unwavering need to have a deeper understanding of the disease process that encompasses pulmonary hypertension spiraled into a desire to gain an in-depth understanding of medicine so that I could better care for patients. The latter coupled with encouragement from my attending physicians and family led me to continue my professional journey to medical school with an ultimate goal to practice medicine.
The most difficult time that I endured was after having my daughter at the beginning of my second year of medical school. I was in a three year accelerated program for physician assistants (physician assistant to Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) so the latter combined with the responsibility of raising my daughter, while my husband lived out of state during my last year of school, and moonlighting at an urgent care as a PA was incredibly difficult. These challenges persist but I remain committed to achieving my ultimate goal of pursuing a cardiology fellowship.
My GME program is unique in that we train at a tertiary hospital and at a VA hospital. This allows for learning experiences at both an academic hospital and community hospital. I feel it is important for physicians in training to practice medicine in which available resources are either limited or abundant. I trust that the former and latter will prepare me for any clinical setting.
Residency becomes more competitive each year and I met a lot of outstanding applicants along the way. Each applicant brings a unique characteristic with them and has their own story to tell. I don't like to think that my past experiences in the medical field set me apart from other contenders, because I know many applicants have had similar experiences as me. Perhaps my perseverance throughout my medical journey that eventually allowed me to tell "my story" during interview season set me apart from others.