Ashley Baldauf graduated with a degree in Forensic Sciences last fall and will begin an innovative medical school education this July at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona.
The AT Still program begins on the Arizona campus for the first year, and then students move to one of 11 special community health center-based campuses across the country to finish their training with CHC faculty.
Students learn in small group settings, learning clinical presentations, observing patient care, and gaining an understanding of the local health system and community health practices. Later, students complete their clinical rotations at their community health center, in associated hospitals, as well as with affiliated healthcare providers at select healthcare institutions.
The centers are a boon to the communities they serve and help students develop a focus on patient care in underserved communities. Ashley will graduate as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
Ashley was thrilled to discover that one of the 11 centers is Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, where she will spend years 2,3, and 4 of her training. She will be in a class of only 10 students at Waianae. She is looking forward to staying close to home and family, but also says, “I want to make a difference in the community”.
People have fears of not succeeding. I tell them, you CAN do it, have faith in yourself, don’t let anyone downgrade you or tell you who you are. Don’t tell yourself that you won’t do well because you can do well.
Ashley herself is a graduate of Waipahu High School, and is hoping to be an inspiration to her relatives and friends from her hometown to dream big and make a difference too.
“I really encourage people from my high school to go to Chaminade; I talk to my brothers too.
People have fears of not succeeding. I tell them, you CAN do it, have faith in yourself, don’t let anyone downgrade you or tell you who you are. Don’t tell yourself that you won’t do well because you can do well.”
“I want to have a future, for my family. I am the first one to get a college degree in my family.”
Ashley worked with Chaminade’s Office of Health Professions Advising and Undergraduate Research to plan for a career in medicine. It was through the office that she learned about the opportunity with AT Still University. Ashley firmly believes that the close relationship with instructors and the extra attention she was able to receive at Chaminade have helped her succeed:
“I wasn’t a chemistry fan until I took chemistry. It opened my eyes to what is possible. Joel Kawakami is a great teacher, a great advisor; he encouraged me. At Chaminade, there are a lot of partnerships with institutions on the mainland, and a lot of research going on here too. There is always the opportunity to do something. Going to the conferences, such as ABRCMS, helped to build my confidence. You can’t be shy about presenting your research!”
“The special thing here is that the faculty at Chaminade wants you to succeed. There is always help.“