Real-world Experience Paves Way to Undergraduate's Medical Career

Kami Walters | Undergraduate | Neuroscience | Pre-Med

Learn how Kami Walters experiences with healthcare through the Timmy Global Health medical brigades and in a research lab prepared her for medical school.


Post Grad Plans: Medical School at IU School of Medicine

What advice do you have to give to other seniors?: I would say take time to do stuff that is not school or professional related. At this point, I think a lot of students are getting burnt out (me and my friends included), so it is nice to not think about school or graduate school applications.

What advice do you have for other students?: If you have the chance to study abroad, do it! I went to the Dominican Republic twice with Timmy Global Health and I went to Japan for two weeks over the summer with a new program.

What is Timmy Global Health?: Timmy Global Health is an international nonprofit organization. It is headquartered in Indianapolis, but it runs through college chapters. I think there are about 50 chapters throughout the United States. It is just a coincidence that the IUPUI chapter is in the same city as Timmy Global Health headquarters. We have a nice connection with them. We do service fundraising and advocacy and it is all related to global health.

I am the Vice President of the IUPUI chapter this year. Last year, I was the director for the Indiana University Student Outreach Clinic, which is our biggest local volunteer initiative. That is a clinic on the near east side of Indianapolis. Timmy Global Health sends volunteers there, and I was coordinating that. I still work there, but there is someone else in charge of the clinic this year.

Tell me about your experience with Timmy Global Health going to the Dominican Republic?: They are one week, spring break medical brigades. 2014 was my first trip and also my first time out of the country all together. I went again over spring break in 2015. Both of the trips were in the Dominican Republic, but at different locations. Both locations were rural, but the first time we went was more of a dry desert type area, and the second time we literally stayed in the jungle. There was a lot of culture shock, but I like being able to do something helpful while I travel, and there was also time for fun on the trips with Timmy Global Health.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?: One of my closest friends that I met on the first trip to the Dominican Republic. She is from Mexico and grew up in California, but lives in Indiana for most of the later part of her life. After we went to the Dominican, she decided that she wanted to work full time with Timmy Global Health. She went through with that and got a job coordinating the medical brigades. She works full time with the Dominican Republic now coordinating the types of trips that we go on. She is barely 25. She has been a really big inspiration to me. She has always encouraged me to follow my dreams. Her name is Ana Frausto and she graduated from IUPUI in 2015.

What is your drive behind wanting to be a doctor?: I spent a lot of time with family in the hospital as a kid. Both of my grandmas passed away fairly young. My mom also has a lot of health problems and was always really open to talking to me about. I think that’s what made me really start to take it seriously as a career path.

What experiences have you had with healthcare?: I’ve had two major jobs in a hospital. I work in the research office in a place where it is half a clinic and the other half is a research facility. I get to see some of the clinical stuff as well. I got that job through the Life Health Sciences Internship program at IUPUI, and then they hired me after the internship was over. I had another job that was six months in the Eskenazi emergency department. I was collecting data for study, but I followed around fourth year medical students working there and saw what they did with the patients.

What is your favorite place to study on campus?: The second floor in Taylor Hall, if you go the opposite direction of the Bepko Center, there is a really quite hallway area. I think it might be used for Bepko mentoring, but there aren’t always people up there. That is where I hide out most of the time.

What has been your involvement with the Life Health Sciences Internship program?: I applied to be an intern for the program. They accept sophomores and juniors who are interested in life health sciences. That is how I started working at Eskenazi Hospital, but after I was done being an intern, the LHSI program itself hired me to work for them. The job is called an intern ambassador. It is basically working with other students who are trying to get internships. A lot of them have similar goals to me. I took the job on a whim, I wasn’t expecting to do this job, but I needed a job over the summer. It is not related to research or science at all, but it’s been really cool because I like to help others achieve the same goals I’m trying to achieve.