WASHINGTON, PA (July 14, 2021)—Gabriella Lloyd ’23 knows the value of a well-rounded view.
It’s an approach she’s taken on her path to medical school, majoring in economics and Spanish at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) as she completes the requirements of a pre-med track as part of her education journey. She’s also finding ways to enhance her knowledge through experience, and this summer has taken on both outpatient and inpatient intern roles at Evidence Based Recovery in Butler, Pa. and Davis Archway in Emlenton, Pa.
“I live in a very small town that’s been affected by the opioid epidemic, and I remember in high school hearing about peers dying from drug overdose; it’s been a big part of my upbringing because of that,” Gabriella said of her interest in the area. “No matter what branch of medicine I go into, I’m going to be able to take the knowledge I’m learning here into my practice. A lot of people forget the opioid epidemic started with doctors over prescribing painkillers.”
Gabriella has had the opportunity to shadow doctors at each clinic and done work as a scribe for the physicians. Her work has also helped her understand more about HIV and Hepatitis C testing and different practices to help those struggling with the disease of addiction.
“Anyone can be affected by this. It’s a heavily stigmatized area, and getting the knowledge I’m learning right now helps take away the façade that these are ‘bad’ people,” Gabriella said. “It could be your neighbor, your friend, your own family members and you don’t know. It’s important to remember the very human part of the struggle with addiction.”
Understanding that human side of medicine has been important for Gabriella as she’s designed her educational experiences during her time at W&J. She’s currently taking an EMT class that will prepare her to do EMT work alongside her courses in the fall, and prior to the summer she’s spent time volunteering at Washington Hospital and even became certified as a contract tracer to help with mitigating the spread of COVID-19. With her knowledge, she elected to serve as a student advisor to the COVID-19 Response Team, helping to shape College policy while keeping student needs in mind.
It’s these people-first experiences, combined with her non-traditional majors for a pre-med track, that have given Gabriella a holistic view of health care, well-preparing her for work with her future patients.
“I think the biggest thing is W&J brings the humanities into what you’re doing,” she said. “You can be a doctor, but you need to remember at the end of the day that you’re treating people, and you have to say I want to help and prioritize understanding their needs.”
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, proudly located in Washington, Pa., is a historic liberal arts college founded in 1781 that values ethical leadership, professional readiness, and inclusive communities. Our highly customized and intellectually engaging student experience develops professionals of uncommon integrity to lead in an ever-changing world. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY