International Day of Women and Girls in Science: Elizabeth Keller, Senior Biochemistry Major
For Elizabeth Keller, the idea of becoming a doctor combines two things she loves.
“I think I’ve just always loved science. And then I also really love people,” Keller said. “I think medicine is a great way to combine those two things.”
Growing up in a rural community, Keller saw firsthand the issues created by a lack of access to proper healthcare. She feels that members of her family suffered from diseases that could have been prevented had there been more healthcare options locally.
“I desire to go into communities that are underserved, and be that person who teaches them the importance of going to the dentist twice a year and the importance of getting all of your vaccines,” she said. “I really want to go into primary care. I’m looking at either family medicine or OB-GYN. I really want to encourage women, which is why I lean more towards OB-GYN, but I also think that family medicine gives you a way to impact people from the start, because you birth people’s children and then you have them for the rest of their lives.”
While studying biochemistry in the Anderson University College of Arts and Sciences, Keller has also been helping out in the pharmacy at the Anderson Free Clinic. That experience is helping her learn more about socioeconomic issues affecting access to health care. The free clinic offers prescriptions at prices that are more affordable for low income individuals who are uninsured or underinsured.
“They’re definitely a blessing, because, like insulin, it’s outrageously expensive, but they get it for $1.50—that’s life saving treatments right there,” said Keller.
Keller feels that the College of Arts and Sciences has helped her pass the MCAT, the entrance exam required for medical school. She feels that the facilities, including the cadaver lab in the Anderson University Center for Medical Simulations, helps prepare her for the realities of treating patients. She also was part of the university’s Pre Med Boot Camp, an intensive two weeks of preparation organized by the Anderson University College of Arts and Sciences in partnership with AnMed in May 2022. The camp helped students learn about what it takes to gain an edge in the highly competitive process of entering medical school.
Keller enrolled in the Early Decision Program at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and will start medical school this fall. She will then spend her third and fourth years of medical school at AnMed. She attributes smaller class sizes and faculty who take time for their students to get the best possible understanding of the science behind medicine. At the same time she appreciates her instruction all coming from a Christian Worldview.
“The professors in the department really care about you; they make that obvious… And then I love the way our department handles our faith, because obviously, being in science, a lot of people will pit those two against one another,” she said.
Details about biology and chemistry programs in the Anderson University College of Arts and Sciences can be found online.