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January Alumni Spotlight Catie Bautista

catie bautistaCatie Bautista, M1 University of Utah School of Medicine and Boise State Alumni

Catie describes herself as determined, balanced, and energetic

Catie graduated from Boise State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science Studies and a minor in Biology in May of 2019.  Catie was a Dr. Ralph Jones FACS Pre-Medical Summer Fellowship recipient and a member of the Honors College during her time at Boise State University.  She also was awarded the Frank Wong Pre-Med Scholarship 2017-2018. A Boise, Idaho native she has started her first year of medical school at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, Utah, and would like to share her experience at Boise State, current career, and profession.  Below are a few questions and Catie Bautista’s responses:

What is it like being a Medical Student during a pandemic?

As a first-year medical student, I’m in the didactic years of my training. While we aren’t in person for most of our lectures, we were still allowed to be on campus for histology, clinical methods curriculum, and gross anatomy. Overall, I’m confident that I and my class will get through this pandemic and still emerge as great physicians. The most discouraging part about COVID-19 is that it was far more difficult to meet classmates and develop relationships in the beginning. We also haven’t been able to get involved in free clinics normally available to first-year students.

What do you think was the most important experience you had at Boise State?

Through the honors college, I was able to apply and be matched with a mentor during my senior year. Having Sam as my mentor throughout my medical school application cycle was the most helpful and eye-opening experience during my time at Boise State. The mentoring I received was exactly what I needed to tie up my four years at Boise State and be able to submit medical school applications that I was proud of and truly reflected my reason for choosing medicine.

What resources did you use at Boise State to prepare you for your medical career?

I am a resource fanatic and used just about all of them. I met with my advisor, Erin Colburn, multiple times a year. I gained physician shadowing experiences and research through the pre-health advising office. Long before the application cycle, the honors college provided a course that allowed me to start drafting my personal statement and receive feedback. I used the career center to help prepare myself for medical school interviews. I also regularly sought tutoring for most of my courses.

Do you think Boise State prepared you for your professional school career?

Overall, I do think Boise State prepared me for medical school. Opportunities such as Honors college, tutoring, mentoring, academic advising, and much more were at my disposal throughout my undergraduate career. I believe that as long as the individual is motivated, Boise State, as a whole, is more than willing to meet students where they’re at and help them achieve their goals.

What would you tell yourself now knowing what you know now about applying to medical school?

If I were giving advice to myself, I would encourage a gap year, mentorship, and anything by Dr. Gray and Medical School HQ. Studying for the MCAT and applying to medical school was a full-time job so it’s important to know that you have the time, energy, and resources to complete the process in one piece.

What do you wish you would have known before becoming a medical student?

I think an important realization for me was that medical school faculty wants you to succeed more than anything. This is a huge shift from undergraduate degrees where courses were known for weeding out students. Gaining acceptance into medical school is one of the toughest parts of the journey!

Would you like to learn more from Catie Bautista, please email Erin Colburn for her contact information.