February 19, 2020

By Grace Tesoro ’20

Not all careers in medicine require an MD.

“I knew I wanted to be in a hospital and work with my hands and perform surgeries. But I also knew that I wanted a balance between the hospital and a home life,” said Julia Tolin ’18 of her decision to pursue a career in podiatry.

Tolin, a first-year medical student at Temple University for Podiatric Medicine, was part of the Break Throughs panel Careers in Medicine: MD Not Required.

Geena Ragozine ’18 graduated SU alongside Tolin. She shared her experience of becoming a nurse anesthetist.

“I shadowed in ORs and to be critically certified you need to undergo three to four years in the ICU,” Ragozine explained.

Emily Strittmatter ’11 graduated with a degree in biopsychology and music performance.

Strittmatter originally intended to work as a genetic counselor. However, her path led her to become a physician assistant in the emergency room at Abington-Jefferson Hospital in Pennsylvania.

“Normally, people think we just assist the doctors, but we do a lot more,” Strittmatter said. “As a PA, I see my own patients, know their histories, do my own write-ups.

“As a PA you have flexibility, you’re not stuck in one spot,” Strittmatter said. “You also qualify to apply for jobs in any [medical] specialty.”

Mike Marr ’08, who pursued a career in dentistry, said Susquehanna prepared him for the rigor of medical school.

“Taking anatomy, physiology and gross anatomy with Dr. Reichard-Brown benefited me,” Marr said. “It allowed me to see it for a first time, so seeing it for a second time at school, I had an upper hand over other students.”

Ragozine also said her experience as a student athlete benefitted her advanced medical training.

A biology major and a member of the women’s soccer team, Ragozine said, “Susquehanna helped me develop a work ethic. Time management was a huge thing to carry over.”

First-year, neuroscience major Marissa Frusteri said she benefited from the panel discussion.

“This session showed me the different options I can go into that don’t necessarily mean I only do neuroscience; I can apply it to other things,” she said. “It showed me that I have a variety of different options.”

About Break Through

Break Through helps Susquehanna students to network and develop contacts with alumni and other professionals in their chosen fields. Each year in February, alumni converge on campus for the student-alumni networking conference. Alumni offer career-specific panel discussions, money management advice, résumé tips, online branding and more. Break Through is organized by Susquehanna’s Career Development Center.