Name: Robyn Burton
Medical Title/credentials: BSN RN Student
School/program: University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing BSN, Graduation December 2022
Favorite hobby: I love being outside. During the summer months I hike, bike, run, pack raft, and camp. Once the snow blankets the ground I downhill & cross-country ski, dust off my fat tire bike, and ice skate on the frozen lakes and rivers. When the weather prevents me from being outside, I enjoy reading a good book, eating delicious food, and baking lots of yummy treats.
Why did you choose this profession? I’ve always known I wanted to work in healthcare, but it took me some time to land on nursing. What made my decision final was working as a tech on a med surg unit at a local hospital. Seeing first-hand how a simple conversation and simply listening could change a patients outlook for the day. The bond that begins to form is special and I knew that continuing my education toward becoming a registered nurse was one I wished to continue.
Biggest inspiration: My biggest inspiration comes from those I choose to surround myself with. There are so many wonderful humans in my life that lift me up and support me. They inspire me with their hard work and dedication to their own goals whether personal or professional.
Current passion project: School has been all consuming these past two years. However, once I’m graduated, I hope to thru-hike a long trail. I’m still narrowing down which one I would like to do first.
Fun fact: I played collegiate volleyball way back when (2010-2012)
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering your field: While in nursing school it is easy to feel overwhelmed, I had multiple mid-day meltdowns throughout the program. However, the bond that is formed with the students around you who quickly become family and the triumphs felt when the “AH HA” moments happen make every hard moment totally worth it.
Any other piece of advice, motivational quote, or message you would like to share: Make sure you are continuing to fill your own cup. If it is empty, then helping others fill theirs will become difficult and draining.
Name: Dv’nn Cooks
Medical Title/Credentials: PA-S1
School/Program: UW MEDEX Northwest
Favorite Hobby: Family time and coaching football
Why did you choose this profession? To provide patients with the same empathy, comfort, and knowledge I once received from a PA, all while working together with a team.
Biggest Inspiration: Father and oldest brother
Current Passion Project: Helping AK football athletes develop skills on and off the field that’ll benefit them even after football is done.
Fun Fact: Peach Cobbler is my favorite dessert!
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering your field? Set goals, write them down, and work everyday to accomplish your goals. #SeeItThrough
Name: Jaymar Sagun
Medical Title/Credentials: Jaymar Sagun
Favorite Hobby: i like to swim and spend time with friends and family
Why did you choose this profession? I chose this profession because I have taken an interest in furthering my education in bones and patient care.
Biggest Inspiration: the MRI techs who helped me during my MRI on my knee
Current Passion Project: Focusing on my physical health and getting stronger each day.
Fun Fact: i like mint oreos
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering your field? It is eye opening and very challenging!Any other piece of advice, motivational quote, or message you would like to share? Keep pushing, you have one more rep in ya :) you didn’t come this far just to quit, gots to see it through.
Name: Martina Yanish
Medical Title/Credentials: Nursing Student / PBT-Medical Lab Assistant
School/Program: UAA SON / RN-BSN
Favorite Hobby: Skiing!
Why did you choose this profession? I chose this profession because I love people and want to help them in hard times.
Biggest Inspiration: Mother Theresa
Current Passion Project: Katie’s Handprint
Fun Fact: I used to be a forklift operator!
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering your field? If you’re in the process of working towards nursing school or are in a program already, do not give up! Always have the reason you decided to enter this field be your beacon to light up the hard and dark times.Any other piece of advice, motivational quote, or message you would like to share? “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Name: Jordan Iverson
Medical Title/Credentials: RN-BSN, OCN, CMSRN
IG: @jordaninak and @fromalaskatofranceviaengland
School/Program: Northern Michigan University
Favorite Hobby: swimming, traveling, hiking
Why did you choose this profession? In high school I had volunteered at an adult daycare for those with Alzheimer’s and found I really enjoyed helping others and the geriatric population.
Biggest Inspiration: my grandmother- she was one of the hardest workers I have known and always encouraged me to pursue my dreams
Current Passion Project: teaching myself Spanish so I can take several months off and travel around Spain
Fun Fact: I am a marathon open water swimmer, currently training for a solo swim across the English Channel
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering your field? Nursing has so many different fields, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t find your niche in clinicals during school. A nursing degree opens up so many different doors and opportunities.Any other piece of advice, motivational quote, or message you would like to share? “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have” - Theodore Roosevelt
Name: Jenny Smith
Medical Title/Credentials: CNA - BSN student
School/Program: UAA Bachelors of Science in Nursing
Favorite Hobby: Halibut fishing in summer/ Snowboarding in winter. Powerlifting all year round :)
Why did you choose this profession? Growing up I bounced throughout the foster care system in Colorado. Within that time I helped care for my foster dad who was terminal with cancer. I assisted him to his appointments and with his ADL’s before and after school each day until the very day he passed away. I knew at 13 I thoroughly enjoyed helping others and had a passion to bring joy to others especially during times of need. I later on became a CNA at the age of 17 to help care for my grandparents. I treat my patients like I would treat my family! With love, kindness, dignity and respect! :)
Biggest inspiration: Since a young age I set a mindset for myself to never let anyone or anything get me down. If I want something I will go for it and if it isn’t achieved right away then I will keep trying until I am able to achieve those goals..
Current Passion Project: I am currently working on writing a book based on my life and the experiences I have had in life and how each day is based on perspective. From growing up in over a dozen foster homes to the aspects of dealing with the different chronic illnesses I have been diagnosed with and the obstacles I have had to overcome to conquer my goals.
Fun Fact: My children are all animals. I have a corn snake named Tangi, a poodle named Ruby and a ball python named Toggle.
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering your field?
Taking care of others is not an easy task or job but it is such a rewarding thing to do. To be that person that can help another person when they are vulnerable and sick and make all the difference in their day. It is truly special. Not everyone is capable of it. But those who are, and enjoy what they do are very much noticed and appreciated by patients. :)
Any other piece of advice, motivational quote, or message you would like to share?
Be the Change you wish to see in the world.
Name: Kate O’Brien
Medical Title/Credentials: Registered Practical Nurse
School/Program: RPN Bridge to BScN
Favorite Hobby: Going to the gym, walking my dogs, tennis, snowboarding and swimming
Why did you choose this profession? I have always found science and learning about what our bodies can do very interesting, and I enjoy promoting/teaching and helping people be the healthiest they can be!
Biggest Inspiration: All women because we don’t get enough credit!
Current Passion Project: Just working on eating healthier and working out consistently
Fun Fact: I have a black belt in karate
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering your field? It can be difficult at times and you may question why you started in this field, but just try to remember the main reason and motivation behind you wanting to be in this field. Nursing has a wide variety of options and specialties you will find one you enjoy eventually :)
Any other piece of advice, motivational quote, or message you would like to share? “A bad day is still a luxury” - Libby Christensen
Name: Shiza Tanveer
Medical Title/Credentials: PA-S1
School/Program: CUNY School of Medicine
Favorite Hobby: traveling, reading, trying new restaurants
Why did you choose this profession? For me, being a PA was an easy decision because I absolutely loved that I would be able to treat patients in 2 short years, change specialties at any time, and still have great work-life balance to be able to travel and focus on other hobbies outside of work while still making a difference in my patients’ lives!
Biggest Inspiration: My parents — they are first generation immigrants and have always shown me the importance of hard work, dedication, and pushing me to do anything I wanted to do. I remember attending doctor’s visits with my parents as a child and feeling the barrier between them and their providers, often due to language, which is a huge reason why I wanted to work in medicine and focus my career on working in underserved communities where I can make the most impact.
Current Passion Project: When I’m not studying for exams, I spend most of my time creating content and finding resources to help other pre-PA students (especially minorities) get into PA school on my Instagram and Tiktok (@scrubsandshiz).
Fun Fact: I can speak 5 languages — English, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Spanish (currently learning Bangla!)
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering your field? If you have a low gpa like I did, it is still possible to get into PA school by focusing on other parts of your application to become competitive. I focused on getting tons of PCE hours and took 3 gap years to do so and don’t regret it one bit!
Any other piece of advice, motivational quote, or message you would like to share? Do not let imposter syndrome stop you from achieving your goals! Whether you’re a pre-PA thinking you aren’t good enough to apply or an incoming student thinking you aren’t smart enough to make it through — trust me if I can do it as an average student, so can you!! It’s all about hard work and dedication, don’t listen to that negative inner voice!
Name: Dr. Caleb White
Medical Title/Credentials: PGY-1 Podiatry Resident
School/Program: Kendall Regional Hospital
Favorite Hobby: I am a big movie guy... I absolutely love going to the movies to catch whatever is being released on the big screen.
Why did you choose this profession? I chose this profession during my third year of college. I always knew I wanted to join the medical field and working in the ER throughout college really gave me the drive to help achieve that goal. For the longest time, I believed I wanted to go into emergency medicine, but after shadowing all of the different departments the hospital had to offer I began to quickly fall in love with podiatry. After much debate and pondering, I decided podiatry was the right field I wanted to pursue as it met the needs of what I truly wanted most in medicine. In the spring of 2022, I had the privilege of matching at a podiatric residency that specializes in trauma so I get to have a taste in both of the specialties I love!
Biggest Inspiration: My wife and parents helped pave the way for me to pursue my dream career and are such an inspiration to me!
Current Passion Project: Teaching those fresh into medicine the appropriate steps and guidance on what it's like to pursue your career in healthcare. Our future lies in our next generation and teaching and mentoring those who are trying to learn and grow in their knowledge will only help the future of healthcare! I love to help educate and make sure individuals who were in the same shoes as I perform even better than when I was in their position.
Fun Fact: Every chance I have to play the Chainsmokers in the OR I get to. Favorite musical artist without a doubt.
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering your field? Always ask. This career will leave you with so many questions that are hard to answer alone. Make sure to ask those who have been in your shoes for the best advice whether that be with clinical skills or with studying habits- never be afraid to ask and to learn.
Any other piece of advice, motivational quote, or message you would like to share? If you take the path to medical school make sure you rely heavily on what brings you peace and comfort during stressful situations. Whether that be religion (that's what I relied on), friends, hobbies, or certain environments make sure to not let the stress of the profession take away what truly matters to you and what you rely on to help keep you going.
Name: Andy Nguyen
Medical Title/Credentials: MS-3 (3rd Year Medical Student
School/Program: Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
Favorite Hobby: Photography and Videography
Why did you choose this profession? Couldn't see myself doing anything else! I was exposed early on to patient care and being able to hear the stories of struggle and triumph through clinical research at 16 and from then on knew medicine was exactly where I wanted to be. It is the only field that allows you to not just share in people's most intimately human moments, but provide them a source of encouragement and hope in a time when they may need it the most.
Biggest Inspiration: Medically it has to be my earliest mentor Dr. Wilde, a pediatric emergency medicine doctor who knew me since I was 5 and who showed me exactly what it meant to care confidently in any situation. Creatively my biggest inspirations are Casey Neistat, Danny Gevirtz, and Kobe Bryant, for making the every day ordinary seem like incredible adventures.
Current Passion Project: Being a part of a huge community of medical creators on YouTube through my channel ND MD. With over 100k subscribers, it has grown immensely since I started medical school and allows me to use my professional creative background in photography and cinematography to tell the incredibly inspiring stories of physicians, residents, and fellow students from all around the country and world. It has been such an unexpected blessing to reach so many students who may want to be a physician or healthcare professional one day in such a unique and authentic way.
Fun Fact: Because I went to medical school through a 7 year accelerated BS/MD track, I started medical school before I could legally drink and I had my white coat ceremony before my undergraduate commencement.
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering your field? Don't lose sight of why you do it. This road is long but trust me patients teach you more about medicine and how to love everyone exactly where they are in that moment, than any textbook or lecture ever could.
Any other piece of advice, motivational quote, or message you would like to share? Some of the best things you can do to heal, comfort, or provide for someone, do not require a medical degree.