Turning “One Day” into “Today”: AUC Alumna Credits Strong Mentorship Inspiring Her Through Medical School
For Deyanna “Dee” Boston, MD, the path to becoming a physician was more one of “Ready… set…one day.” After graduating from college and getting her graduate degree, she spent more than a decade project managing for pharmaceutical companies, and as a fashion stylist, building a team of consultants for Lia Sophia.
But since her childhood, her great grandmother’s debilitating stroke remained etched on her heart, calling her to help heal people. The tugging grew as she did.
Somewhere in her early thirties, her calling became too difficult to ignore.
In 2017 she graduated from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC). While studying at AUC, she participated in a clinical clerkship in Uganda, which she says transformed her.
“My experience in Uganda was life-changing,” she says. “I lived with a local family, delivered babies, visited the village elders, taught young people about the importance of family planning, assisted with HIV counseling, and took Luganda culture and language lessons along the way. It was a truly transformative experience.”
“I always was interested in the sciences,” says Boston, who earned a Master’s in Biology from Villanova University and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. “Friends kept saying, ‘When are you going to go to med school,’ and I kept saying, ‘One day, one day, I’ll look into it.’
Then she stumbled on a brochure for AUC. “I ironically had visited St. Maarten two years before and of course fell in love with it,” she says. “I decided the time is now, applied to a bunch of med schools and let it go, ‘wherever this takes me.”
She chronicles her journey going to medical school at 32, graduating at 36, in her blog, www.ParadiseMeD.blogspot.com, which she dubs, “A peek into my journey through medical school on the beautiful Caribbean Island of St. Maarten...and beyond.” At AUC, she met her husband who was working in the IT department.
The journey has taken the Philadelphia native from the Caribbean Island to Uganda and London, where she did clinicals, to Milwaukee, WI, where she was a resident at All Saints Family Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin to Omaha, NE. From August 2020 to July 2021, she was a Family Medicine Obstetrics Fellow at Creighton University School of Medicine. The fellowship focused on teaching her how to perform Cesarean sections and handle complicated pregnancies.
During that time, she averaged working nearly 300 hours a month and delivered more than 200 babies. She also gave birth to her son, Dorian.
Today, she has an appointment as an assistant professor at the Creighton School of Medicine and sees mothers and babies at the hospital’s CHI Health clinic. She also has a patient panel at the Charles Drew Health Center, which is a Federally Qualified Health Center.
“I chose this field of medicine because I like to want to treat patients from birth to death,” she says. I like to build relationships with families and treat all patients with the same respect I would treat my own family.”
In her “spare time,” Boston loves to cook, travel, spend time with family and friends and read true crime novels.
Lessons she learned throughout her journey: “Really follow your dream. At AUC I had great mentors and teachers and saw how important it is to be very involved and listen to each patient and their family members.”