Student Spotlight: Lauren Crabbe

Lauren Crabbe Simulation Lab

Lauren Crabbe did not have dreams of becoming a doctor when she was a child and she didn’t start her college studies with the intent of going to medical school. In fact, it wasn’t until necessity dictated that she spent her free time healing herself and caring for her loved ones that she realized her passion for the medical sciences. 

Now a student at Trinity School of Medicine, Lauren’s journey has been filled with twists, turns, and boulder-sized bumps in the road. The first in her family to attend secondary school, Lauren earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metallurgy at the State University of New York in New Paltz. Her plans were to use her degree to take over her uncle’s jewelry business; however, she soon realized this path was not scratching her creative itch. Lauren then transitioned into performance art with metal, focusing on training others to optimize their physical form.

Lauren’s life took a dramatic turn after a severe car accident left her paralyzed from the waist down for about a year. Without the funds for surgery, she underwent physical therapy for approximately eight years. During this time, she was introduced to the wellness sphere and earned a certification in rehabilitation for special populations. This led her to work as a physical therapy aide, where her passion shifted from art to wellness and recovery.

After undergoing three spinal surgeries, including spinal fusion, Lauren recognized that while physical therapy was beneficial, its scope of care was limited. At 28, she decided to pursue a career in medicine and completed a post-baccalaureate pre-med program at Columbia University. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, her MCAT was postponed for a year. Determined not to delay her medical journey, Lauren enrolled in a Caribbean medical school that did not require the MCAT for entry into their MD program.

Lauren Crabbe + her mom     

As a hands-on learner, Lauren chose to stay on the island of Antigua for her studies, becoming one of the very few students who attended class in person. During her fifth term, just before her CBSE exam, she took her chronically ill mother to hospice. Her mother unexpectedly passed away, leaving Lauren distraught but more determined and inspired to continue her medical studies. However, upon returning to her previous Caribbean medical school, she was told she would have to repeat the entire semester. Fortunately, Lauren heard about Trinity School of Medicine through a friend and decided to transfer with a few friends in search of stability.

Lauren Crabbe and Dean  Lauren Crabbe Pinning Ceremony

“When I found out about the clinical rotations being in one state and not having to move every six weeks that was probably the driving factor for me to transfer to Trinity.”

At the pinning ceremony, which celebrates students entering their fifth term, Lauren felt deeply appreciated and welcomed into the Trinity community. She remarked, “Even though it was only a two-hour celebration, it was a really monumental and memorable moment that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.” She believes Trinity excels at celebrating small victories and looks forward to experiencing other events like the Med Gala, Match Day, and graduation.

Pinning Ceremony

During her fifth term at Trinity, Lauren has felt incredibly supported. She shared, “My experience at Trinity has been amazing… I feel a lot more supported by the deans, Dr. Geisler and Dr. Manahan, who met with us individually to make sure we were following the right study plan. I also feel a lot more seen as a student since the class sizes are smaller.” Lauren has cherished every moment at Trinity. She and her friends, who transferred with her, have felt welcomed and supported since day one. Lauren also appreciates the non-competitive environment at Trinity. She has observed that students help each other and genuinely wish the best for one another. Lauren recalls how Dr. Shishona Jones, a recent graduate, helped her prepare for the Step exam, “Dr. Shishona Jones is so sweet… two days before I took Step, she sent me a text message. She remembered my Step date and wrote me a nice message wishing me luck. She really went the extra mile to be there for me.”

“Whether you transfer in or not, students are all accepted into the Trinity community.”

Lauren Crabbe and the Sunshine girls

During her free time, Lauren has been able to support the Sunshine Home for Girls orphanage in Antigua. Her biggest projects have been creating a food pantry and sending the eldest child to college in Antigua – making her the first from the orphanage to go to secondary school.  

“I worked through my education to fund my education and I hope that I can help somebody else get through that doesn’t necessarily have the means to do so.”

With a heart passionate about serving, Lauren spends most of her holidays in food kitchens and even plays Santa for the children in the orphanage.

Lauren Crabbe

Lauren has recently passed her Step 1 exam and is excited to continue her medical journey at Trinity. Her advice to prospective medical students is to pursue their dreams, regardless of age, background, or academic history. Because of her experience with her mother’s end-of-life care, she is considering a career in palliative care but remains open-minded and enthusiastic about starting her clinical rotations.

If you’re interested in learning how Trinity can support your dream of becoming a doctor, we invite you to reach out to our admissions team today! Contact us here.  

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