Today we sit down with Roman Pettigrew, one of our site coordinators in MS-CQI, to talk about his experience in the study and how he came to work with us.
Rumor has it you weren’t always in the medical field– what were you doing before you signed on to help with the MS-CQI Study?
Roman: “I spent some time in Los Angeles working in film and TV for a few years, before relocating to New York City where I worked in the music business.“
Was there a major event that triggered your desire to enter the clinical field?
Roman: “I was involved in a bicycle accident in 2013 and had an epidural hematoma. This required emergency brain surgery. Surviving this, and my experience with the medical team inspired me to pursue a career in medicine.“
How has working at UVM Neurology and with the MS-CQI Study impacted you?”
Roman: “I started in Neurology in 2015 as a medical assistant. Eventually, I became a research coordinator and started working on the MS-CQI study. It’s been wonderful forming relationships with MS patients over the last 4 years and working to improve MS care. I have greatly enjoyed my time at the clinic and working on the study. It has been great preparation for my next step- medical school!“
Congratulations to your acceptance at the University of New England in Biddeford Maine! What will you be doing now that you’re transitioning to medical school? Any particular specialty you are interested in?
Roman: “Thank you! I’ll be moving to Maine in June with my partner before starting school in July. At the moment, I’m very interested in emergency medicine, but I am open-minded and looking forward to experiencing all the specialties before I decide.“
Any advice to our readers that are pursuing medical school?
Roman: “Applying to medical school is very difficult. Aside from the academic requirements, it can be a lot like a career in entertainment in that one has to be prepared to deal with rejection. I spent several years on waitlists, but I was persistent and eventually successful. If you really want to do it, be patient and it will happen.“
Roman Pettigrew is a recently accepted medical student to the University of New England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has been with the MS-CQI team for the last two years as the Site Coordinator at the University of Vermont’s Neurology Center.