- As a prospective medical school applicant, what type of activities did you seek out and why?
I’m a big believer in seeking out activities that allow you to help others, create ties with your community, and make you happy. Volunteering was an important part of my high school experience, so I knew I wanted to find a way to get involved in New Haven despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. My friend Emma introduced me to HAPPY, the Hypertension Awareness and Prevention Program at Yale. I began measuring blood pressure in different local soup kitchens and community centers. I fell in love with meeting community members at the Community Soup Kitchen, so I joined their volunteer team to distribute food to those in need. When the pandemic allowed students back in the hospital, I became a part of the Living History Project at Yale, through which I record the life histories of patients. I’ve found so many friends and much joy in volunteering in New Haven, and I highly recommend it to any incoming Yale students.
- How did you connect with the authors of “Taking Care of You: The Empowered Woman’s Guide to Better Health”?
I met Kanwal Haq, one of the co-authors of the book, during my first year at Yale. She was working as an administrator for the neurosurgery department, where I do clinical outcomes research. She now works at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as a program manager for women’s health.
- Can you describe the organic process that led you to draw almost all of the illustrations for the book?
In October 2020, I was taking a drawing class and showed Kanwal one of my assignments. She liked my illustration style and told me about the women’s health book she was working on with Dr. Mary O’Connor. They asked if I would be interested in being their illustrator, and of course, I jumped at the opportunity! I spent the next two years collaborating with female healthcare professionals to create over 100 illustrations. My goal was to clarify complex medical conditions and represent a diverse group of women.
- Can you tell us more about the book?
“Taking Care of You” is an easy-to-read guide that covers over 50 clinical conditions affecting women’s health. Each chapter is written by a specialist in that field, and describes prevention, treatment options, and questions to ask your healthcare provider. Our hope is that women will feel empowered to make informed healthcare decisions and advocate for their health.