There’s no doubt that each medical student has their own story. For Heather Dill, growing up in an unorthodox setting helped mold her ideas and views as a young child. Overcoming obstacles and moving around hurdles, have built an amazing set of character strengths for this future medical doctor.
Heather’s story reflects how Trinity seeks the right fit of diverse and extraordinary medical students to become a part of it’s top accredited medical school.
Originally from California, Heather recalls moving around a lot as a child, and she’s quick to tell you it wasn’t because her family was in the military. Heather comes from a large family, including five siblings. In 1995, Heather who was 10-years-old at the time, remembers asking her mother, and convincing the doctors and medical staff to let her watch, as her baby brother was born.
A member of the medical team gave her a gift that day, that she still has in her possession. It’s a t-shirt with her youngest brother’s footprints and has the title “Future OB Nurse”. This is when Heather realized there was something special she felt when she was around babies, and helping others.
After attending Utah Valley University, Heather trained to be a first responder in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she became a paramedic supervisor while completing her bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management before attending Trinity.
Giving back to the community has always been near and dear to Heather’s heart. During her time at Trinity and on the island of St. Vincent Heather embraced Trinity’s mission of service and became actively involved in many clubs and organizations. One club, The Society of Medicine and Surgery allowed Heather to share lifesaving clinical techniques with locals, like CPR and first aid.
Heather is the mother to a deaf child, and signing with her daughter opened a pathway for her to start a student organization, called “Trinity Signs”. This platform allowed Heather and other Trinity students to teach basic sign language at local schools and churches around St. Vincent.
Another community outreach effort was fostered by Trinity’s partnership with the World Pediatric Project (WPP). Heather realized roughly every week, dozens of children and their family members would arrive to be examined and evaluated to receive critical life-saving procedures performed by the medical missions teams of the WPP at Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.
To alleviate some of the stressors for the families, and to make the waiting period more tolerable, Heather decided to create a carnival-style atmosphere for the family members as they waited.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this carnival style event was unable to take place in March. However, in true Heather fashion, she found another way to get the items she had shipped in from the states, to the children. How? Gift packets, wrapped and stuffed with the items from the U.S., each packet contained age-appropriate items, from soaps, candy, and hand lotion. And the money that was raised was donated to the local chapter of the World Pediatrics Project.
Transition from Paramedic to Medical School
Having time to reflect upon her work as a paramedic and first responder during her first two years as a medical student, emergency medicine is no longer her first choice as a specialty. Now, she wants to take her combined knowledge of emergency medicine, and put it into practice with her continuing education at Trinity, where she plans on entering the Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB-GYN) medical field. Heather was recently featured on a local news station for helping deliver another baby. Watch the story here.
Heather’s desire to help, comes in many different ways, and crosses many organizations. If there’s one thing she wants to make sure she teaches her own children, it’s “how important service and giving back to the community is.” Our mission at Trinity School of Medicine is to train and instill in Trinity graduates a mission of service to the health and welfare of the communities they will serve. We achieve that mission through the personal investment we make in each student who enters our school. The challenges of medical school are much more manageable when others around you are as invested in your success as you are.
If you are curious about moving your family to a foreign country, Heather is an example of how going to medical school, with your family, can become your reality too. The proof is in Heather’s family photos.
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