Medical School Adventures: Morganne Murphy-Meyers ’17 Gets Her White Coat

Medical school is everything Morganne Murphy-Meyers ’17 hoped for, and everything she prepared for while at Colby-Sawyer College. Now, the biology major from Truckee, Calif., is thriving in the hands-on program at her top choice, the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. She attributes her continuing success to the excellent academics, nurturing faculty mentors, and bountiful opportunities in and out of the classroom that she found at Colby-Sawyer.

“Colby-Sawyer gave me an excellent foundation for medical school, and I feel prepared in molecular biology, genetics and biochemistry,” Murphy-Meyers said. “My professors were a major factor in my success as a pre-med student. They were willing to answer questions and pushed me to be the best student possible. I would not have gotten into medical school without their mentorship. I feel prepared to become a doctor from my experiences at Colby-Sawyer.”

Those experiences were many and varied. She was a member of Colby-Sawyer's Wesson Honors Program and Alpha Chi national college honor society; studied a semester at the University of Wollongong in Australia; competed on the alpine ski team; served as vice president and president of the Health Professions Association; and was a tutor in the Student Learning Collaborative. All that engagement in the campus community helped create a multi-faceted perspective on the world, and Murphy-Meyers is seeing how the pieces come together in med school.

“The time I spent tutoring at the Student Learning Collaborative taught me skills I use with patients at the clinic, while competing on the ski team showed me the importance of teamwork, which I use to communicate effectively with the healthcare team,” she said. “The experience I garnered while working on my Capstone project will be extremely useful for my upcoming research project this summer.”

That Capstone project, Detection of Pathogens in Migrating Raptors: Utilizing Ectoparacites to Identify West Nile Virus, was completed with Victoria Delaney ’17 and grew out of Murphy-Meyers’ internship with Professor of Natural and Environmental Sciences Nick Baer.

“Morganne was a strong student who worked hard both in her academics and athletics, engaged in the campus community, and mentored other students,” said Professor Baer. “She is a great success story for Colby-Sawyer and our biology program.”

Murphy-Meyers, who traces her interest in a medical career to the physicians who cared for her after a ski racing accident, is interested in emergency medicine because of its fast pace and immediate impact on patients.

"When I was injured, the doctors explained my surgical options, alleviated my fears,and reassured me that I would ski competitively again. Their kindness and knowledge made me recognize the role I wanted to play in others’ lives," Murphy-Meyers said. "In addition, I enjoyed teaching while tutoring chemistry at Colby-Sawyer and always loved studying the hard sciences. Medicine is the perfect mesh of helping others, science and teaching people how to improve their health."