A Future Surgeon, Going Back to Help Her Community
By Troy Wilde
August 10, 2016
Phoenix, AZ – Brittany Begay, age 21, was born in Winslow, Arizona and raised on the Navajo Nation. She is well on her way to achieving her long-term goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon, serving the Navajo Nation.
Brittany explains, “There is a lack of specialized medical care and treatment where I grew up. My grandma had to leave the reservation to have her knee replaced. I want to eventually be an orthopedic surgeon so that people like my grandma can be treated locally.”
Brittany is a graduate of Coconino High School, and also graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science. She plans on attending medical school, which will be followed by a multi-year residency, before finally becoming a doctor. Brittany says she welcomes the challenges ahead, “I don’t dread it – I’m actually looking forward to it because I’ve always dreamt of becoming a doctor. Finishing up my four years at NAU is just another milestone in the journey of achieving my career goal.”
Before medical school starts, Brittany is working with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Phoenix, “I completed a ten-week summer program at the main campus of the NIH in Bethesda. It was there that I really learned that I like the NIH. One thing led to another, and I got the fellowship at the NIH location in Phoenix.”
Brittany is among the hundreds of hard-working students who have earned a scholarship from College Success Arizona, which provides up to six-thousand dollars per year for educational expenses.
Brittany says the scholarship was a big financial help, “It covered pretty much the bulk of my tuition at NAU, and has helped me graduate with my undergraduate degree debt-free. Now I can go to medical school, which is already expensive, and not have any debt.”
The scholarship also provides the students with specialized mentoring services provided by “Success Advisers.” Essentially, the advisers act as mentors, guiding the students through academic and personal challenges.
Brittany says her success adviser, Robert Davis, was of great support, “If I ever needed help with anything, he was always there with advice and he’s very encouraging. I would tell him about these different opportunities that I was applying for and he would encourage me. He would also connect me with other people who were applying to medical school, so that I could call on them as well.”
Brittany encourages middle and high school students on the Navajo Nation, and elsewhere, to purse their college dreams:
“If you venture out, the possibilities are endless. I never thought that I would have a job with the NIH. Just keep working hard in school and it will pay off.”