Missourian: For MU freshmen, personal history plants motives for careers in medicine
By Trenton Almgren-Davis
The MU freshman class of 2024, a cohort of 6,417 students, is in its seventh week of undergraduate programs. Those choosing medical careers are at the start of six or eight years of schooling to earn medical degrees, like Anthony Moses III and Hailee Coleman, or doctorates, like Fatima Almansouri and Taylor Iverson.
They are mere weeks into the long journey of achieving their goals to become doctors and researchers. Their motivations are complex, diverse and personal.
'I felt like I could belong there’
In 2013, Fatima Almansouri’s younger sister, Eve, underwent a heart surgery at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, where the family lives. Eve had a hole in her heart, causing “bad blood” to mix with healthy blood.
Post-surgery, Eve was physically drained and took awhile to get her energy back. Now in middle school, she plays volleyball and wrestles. She is “outgoing and a bit sarcastic,” Almansouri said.
“It’s very good to see her being able to do all these things every day,” she said. “Heart surgery isn’t easy. Your whole body functions through your heart. Her being able to survive was pretty inspiring.”
Eve’s surgery and recovery profoundly affected Almansouri. She has volunteered at hospitals and donated fleece tie knot blankets to the children. Now one of 302 freshmen in biological sciences at MU, she wants to be a pediatrician.
“Seeing the way the doctors treated my sister, I felt like I could belong there (in the pediatric unit),” Almansouri said.
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