Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2014 scholar Reilly Quist

Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2014 scholar Reilly Quist

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova.

reillyScholar Year: 2014
Hometown: Delta
College(s), Degree(s), and Graduation Year(s): University of Colorado Denver, Major-Biology, Minor-Ethics, 2018

What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating?

After graduation, I plan to go to medical school and hope to become a pediatrician in a rural community. I grew up in a small town and would love to go back to that area to serve my community. I would love to attend the Anschutz Medical Campus here in Denver, but I am also considering Michigan Medical School, Perelman School of Medicine, and Baylor College of Medicine. My dream as of right now is to be a primary care physician because they create such close bonds with their patients, and can be extremely influential in the children’s lives.

Tell us about what activities, groups, and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them.

The most amazing organization I have joined during my college career has been Roundup River Ranch (RRR). This is a camp for children with life-threatening and serious illnesses. I love camp because it really changes the campers’ lives. It is a place where they make their very first real friends. It is a place where they don’t feel any different or less than others. They can accomplish anything they want to at camp, no matter what their medical limitations are. I will continue working at RRR even beyond my college career when I become a doctor.

Tell us about an important mentor you have had.

One of the most important mentors I have met since coming to UCD is Dr. Charles Ferguson. I came from a small school where I usually only had one other person in my classes. During my first few months of college, I failed much more than I succeeded. I didn’t know what to do to fix that. Dr. Ferguson was always there for me, telling me that he believed in me and that I was here for a reason. Without his support, I probably wouldn’t have made it through my freshman year.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I have received was actually from another student. His advice was to “fail forward.”  He told me that in college we will all inevitably fail sooner rather than later. However, what we do after failing is what will define us and determine how far we will go. Failing forward means that each failure needs to encourage you to be better. You need to acknowledge what went wrong, make a plan for how to avoid those problems a second time, and then stop dwelling on that failure and instead look forward to the successes you will have.

If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?

If I could have dinner with a few people from history, I would choose doctors who worked on unethical medical studies. Although this may sound like a strange answer, I think I would gain beneficial insight from them. As a future physician, I believe that it is our job to ensure that such unethical practices never happen again. The best way to ensure that is to learn exactly how a doctor just like any of us got to that mindset where they could do those sorts of things to other people. By understanding their journey, we can avoid it ourselves.

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