Life-Changing Care: Why I Decided to Become a DO

I always knew that I was destined for a career in healthcare. Contrary to seemingly-common assumptions, however, I did not always know that I wanted to be a doctor. 

I worked at a dental office with my mom when I was 13-years-old, and immediately fell in love with the clinic environment. Human health fascinated me. I was hooked. Quickly, I began exploring the different routes I could take in the healthcare field. In the years that followed, a series of events helped to open my eyes and further inspire my medical pursuits. 

Prior to attending college, I witnessed my husband’s father pass away in the intensive care unit due to a motorcycle accident. As I observed the way the doctors aided his family through that difficult time, I knew that I needed to be the person delivering that care someday. I want to be the one that people looked to in times of need; I wanted to offer others the same level of care that I saw that week. 

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I was already in love with medicine when yet another life event caused me to fall particularly hard for osteopathic medicine.

For a period of several months I felt unlike myself. I am an overall happy and positive person. When that disposition seemed to suddenly change, I knew that something was wrong, and decided to visit with my primary care provider —  a DO. Looking back on the experience, she could have easily prescribed me antidepressants to mask my symptoms. She could have just moved on to her next patient. But she didn’t. Instead, she listened. 

She dove deeper, seeking to uncover the root of my problem so that I had a long-term solution. She considered several different aspects of my daily life. She dug into my health history and began shedding light on my symptoms. Eventually, she found one that made sense and investigated further. 

As her patient, I witnessed the power of osteopathy first-hand. My doctor wasn’t just there to treat my symptoms — she was there to treat me: mind, body, and soul.

In the end, we uncovered a solution that required no medicine, and my entire life changed for the better. 

Today, as a second-year osteopathic medical student, I’m determined to one day provide that same life-changing style of care to my patients. 

Katie Wyatt

Osteopathic Medical Student - 2nd Year (OMS II)
Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences

Katie Wyatt