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COSAM Student Learns Valuable Lessons on Path to Become OB/GYN

Published: 12/18/2018

By: Carla Nelson

When Auburn University student Hayley Patterson was 11-years-old she witnessed the birth of her younger sister. Hayley said the experience inspired her to pursue an education to become an obstetrician-gynecologist, and she has learned a lot about herself along the way.

“As I’ve matured I’ve realized that doctoring is more than just wearing fun little stethoscopes and putting Band-Aids on people,” Hayley said of her goal. “I think I’ve learned a lot about myself and different qualities, whether that’s leadership or organization or communication skills.”

Originally from Decatur, Ala., Hayley is a senior in the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) studying biomedical sciences with a pre-med concentration. She followed in her older brother’s footsteps to attend Auburn.

Hayley said there are several aspects of becoming an OB/GYN that are appealing to her.

“I think what’s appealing about obstetrics is that you get the clinical aspect, you meet with women in the clinic and do prenatal care and gynecology, just women’s health in general, but you also get the baby deliveries, which is honestly the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen,” she said. “I also like the idea of surgery. It’s a very neat process to me. So, you can kind of have it all in one career.”

Hayley has found several ways to be involved on campus outside of the classroom. She is President of COSAM Leaders, a member of the Chi Omega sorority, a member of volunteer program AuburnServes, and also teaches at fitness center True40.

She said one aspect of COSAM Leaders she enjoys is meeting alumni, donors and young students.

“We get to meet middle school and high school students that may not yet know what their deepest passion is,” she said. “You kinda get to pull it out of them and get to see what they’re doing now to be prepared for this next stage in life.”

Hayley said one of the COSAM organizations that has benefited her most is the Pre-Professional Advisory Committee, a committee that helps AU students with the application process to medical school.

“They really make sure that we are on top of everything and meet deadlines and meet academic and extracurricular requirements and all of the requirements needed,” she said. “It’s a very detailed process and I’m really thrilled and honored to be a part of what they do.”

Hayley will graduate in May as an Honors Scholar Graduate and said that she feels prepared for the next step in her education towards becoming an OB/GYN.

“COSAM has really taught me to balance more than anything,” she said. “It’s very easy to want to be 100 percent sold out for academics all the time because there’s a lot of pressure to do well, especially when you’re pursuing a graduate program. We’re here at this university to get a degree and to go on and be successful people, but success is not just academic, it requires a community of people that help you get where you’re going.”  

Hayley added that she feels it is important to keep that balance between academics and a personal life.

“It’s really easy to feel overwhelmed with everything, and like you want to do it perfectly, but perfection is truly not a possibility,” she said. “So, the quicker that you can kind of realize that you’re going to put your best foot forward and enjoy a lot of other things in life equally, that will probably make you a happier, better off person.”

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