Designer Changes Careers to Pursue Surgery

Ashley Jordan, MD ‘15, of Norwell, Massachusetts, came to AUC with a fervent desire to make a difference.

She discovered that medicine was her mission while caring for her mother who underwent surgery for breast and lung cancer. Jordan was enjoying her job as a women’s clothing catalog designer at the time, but her experience helping her mother caused her to reevaluate her career choice. “I knew that returning to life as a full-time student would be difficult,” she says, “But, venturing into the field of medicine was something I simply had to do.”

Jordan attended an AUC open house in Boston and applied for admission. She was not only accepted, but was also awarded a scholarship for her outstanding undergraduate academic achievement. This vote of confidence, she says, affirmed her belief that “everything happens for a reason. I knew that attending AUC was the next step in my journey towards becoming a physician.”

Fast forward a few years and Jordan now has a MD degree and is completing a General Surgery residency at St. Luke’s-Bethlehem-PA.

Commitment to Community Engagement, Volunteerism and Leadership  

While taking courses on St. Maarten, Jordan found that AUC’s emphasis on community engagement and social accountability provided many opportunities to get involved. She participated in the school’s student-led Community Action Days held every semester, working alongside community members to refurbish a local foster home, distribute fliers and pamphlets for an organization committed to ending family violence, and provide free Alzheimer’s disease screening tests. “Allocating time to give back to the community allowed me to focus on my primary reason for pursing a career in medicine, which is to help others,” Jordan says.

Jordan also became a student leader, joining the AUC gym committee and serving as President of Phi Chi, a Co-Ed Medical Fraternity. She believes that her role as president in particular contributed to making her a better physician by helping her to “feel competent in leading discussions during rounds as well as give presentations during clinical rotations.”

While fulfilling her clinical rotations, Jordan also participated in conducting retrospective research analysis for a manuscript entitled, “Falls in the Elderly: Risk Factors Associated with Mortality in a Regional Trauma Center,” which has been submitted for publication.

Student Support Services Foster Success 

Jordan says that what impressed her most about AUC is its dedicated faculty. “The instructors go out of their way to make themselves available during office hours, providing additional help on difficult topics,” says Jordan. “I felt well prepared and competent in my breadth of medical knowledge before beginning my clinical rotations.”

Jordan also emphasizes her appreciation for the AUC’s Physician Match Advisory Program and the assistance she received with her personal statement. 

Once Jordan completes her residency, she intends to pursue a fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery. Ultimately, she hopes to work for an organization such as the Wounded Warrior Project, which raises awareness and provides programs to injured service members. She also plans on traveling overseas providing cleft lip and cleft palate surgery to young children.