WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Former Concordia Softball Player Shifts From Diamond to Medical Field
Bronxville, N.Y. (August 16, 2012) – Recently , a former student-athlete for the softball team at Concordia, graduated Medical School and passed her boards to become a doctor. We reached out to her to get some insight on her time at Concordia and what she plans on doing with her medical degree. Below are her responses to some questions we asked to the 2006 graduate.
Why did you choose to attend Concordia as an undergrad?
I have always gone with my gut instinct when it came to choosing schools. I did so in high school, college, medical school, and now residency. I am a firm believer that you will get out of an experience what you put in. So I was confident that I would get the education I needed no matter where I went as long as I was willing to put in the hard work. With that being said, I chose Concordia based on the environment. I didn't know much about the school until I took a tour and spent the day with one of the students. I knew right away that it was the place for me. I really liked the community environment. It seemed to be a family instead of just a college campus. The faculty seemed genuinely interested in their students and provided a nurturing environment for everyone's individual talents. Athletics was also important to me and the athletics department at Concordia was unlike anywhere else I had been. The players from all the men and women's teams were close knit. As they walked through the athletics center no one missed the opportunity the stop in and say hi to Kathy and Ivan. I'm happy to say that I went with my gut when I chose Concordia and I wasn't disappointed.
What are some of your favorite memories of Concordia and playing softball?
My favorite memories at Concordia all surround the softball team and the sorority that I was a part of. Both gave me a community to belong to. I made great friends and established myself with an amazing support system. I can't imagine college without them. Some of my fondest softball memories are the times we spent in the van as a team traveling to away games and spring break in the Winnebago. 12 hours with 15 girls in a mobile home is always interesting!
When did you decide that you wanted to become a doctor?
I think I was the exception to most people in that I really always knew that I wanted to be a doctor. From a very young age it was always something that appealed to me. While I was in high school I started volunteering at an ambulance corp. that Kathy had told me about and that experience really solidified my passion for medicine.
How difficult was it to balance athletics and course work while knowing that Med School was in your future?
In terms of balancing school and athletics it was difficult but definitely doable. I always made sure I the earliest classes available so I never had to miss class for away games. I usually got 4 classes done early in the morning before we even had to leave. Being up early every day was tiring but it was what I needed to do to get good grades and get myself into medical school. It meant that I couldn't stay out as late as my friends and that I had to spend more time studying than most students but I was okay with that. I wouldn't change anything because it really helped me to build the time management skills and work ethic that has made me successful as a doctor.
What advice would you give now to any of the student-athletes that you wish you knew while attending Concordia?
Treasure every moment in college. It goes by so quickly. I look back on my memories playing softball now and I didn't realize at the time how precious the time was. My second piece of advice would be not to forget why you chose to go to college in the first place. Not everyone wants to be a doctor and that's absolutely fine, but everyone goes to college to get an education and pursue a career that they are passionate about. It's easy to get lost in the independence and social life but school should always come first.
How would you describe Concordia Softball Coach Kathy Laoutaris as a coach, friend and mentor?
I can't do justice to how I felt about Kathy as a coach and how I feel about her now as a friend. I challenge anyone to find a coach that looks out for her players more than Kathy does. She genuinely cares about every single one of her girls and there isn't anything she wouldn't do for them. She was tough and she challenged us on a daily basis but that's what a coach is supposed to do. Her job is to get the best out of you and I feel that she did that for me when I was a student. I'm proud to say that I have maintained a close friendship with Kathy in the years since I have graduated from Concordia. She has been a tremendous support system for me and a mentor. I know that I could call her if I needed something at any time and she would be there. Loyalty is a personality trait that Kathy and I both hold dear and I feel that this best describes her as a person. It is at th e heart of how she treats all of her players and all of her friends. I'm proud to have been both.
What are your goals in the future which you want to accomplish now that you are a doctor?
Right now I am a resident pursuing a career in emergency medicine. I'd like to do some international work in the future, and make a difference in countries that are not as fortunate as us in terms of medical care. I'd also like to possibly pursue a fellowship in toxicology and continue to challenge myself academically. My patients benefit from my dedication to continuous learning and in the future I'd like to work in a program with residents so that I can continue to teach and pass on my knowledge to those choosing to enter emergency medicine too.