Aug 17, 2022 / General News

Share Your Story: A Special Bond

Meet Ivy, a medical student who was inspired to pursue a career in medicine. Learn more about her journey below.  

Blog written by Ivy.

I met Dr. McIntosh when I was a sophomore in high school. I was a competitive gymnast all my life and ended up with an ankle injury that required two surgeries. Following one of the surgeries, I experienced post-op neuropathy and the inability to move my foot normally. Instead of walking flat on my foot, I could only walk on my tip toes due to pain and a nerve injury that was causing a calf muscle contracture. I experienced this pain for about a year, and then I saw Dr. McIntosh. She was able to determine what was causing this problem and helped get me on the right course of treatment. I had a surgical release of my calf muscle and then started doing proper bracing and physical therapy to retrain my brain and nerves how to properly walk since my gait had been altered for so long. 

In addition to fixing my injury, Dr. McIntosh really served as an inspiration to me. As a sophomore in high school, I had always wanted to be a gymnastics coach when I was older and there was no budging on that dream. It was seeing a strong, confident, skilled woman in the medical field that flipped this for me. When I was just starting to think more about the idea of being a doctor, Dr. McIntosh allowed me to shadow her. She is the reason I started my pre-med journey. She spoke in one of my undergrad classes about her journey to medicine and took the time to answer student questions. She wrote me a letter of recommendation for medical school, and she is still serving as a mentor to me, as I am currently a 4th year medical student applying to general surgery residency this fall and hopefully pursuing pediatric surgery someday. 

Before going to medical school, I did Teach for America and taught AP Physics in South Texas. My first two years of medical school were in Yakima, Washington, but I have been training for the past year in Fairbanks, Alaska. This summer, I was lucky enough to spend two weeks with Dr. McIntosh at Scottish Rite for Children as part of an elective rotation for med school. It has been amazing to see Dr. McIntosh interact with her patients just how she interacted with me years ago. I feel extremely fortunate that I had this opportunity to learn from her. 

Our relationship has transitioned from doctor and patient to doctor and mentor, and now we are on our way to a colleague relationship. My high school self would have would have never believed that something like this would ever be possible! 



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