Skip to main content

In this Vital Signs series, we feature 4th-year UNC School of Medicine student Emily Broaddus. From Houston, Texas, Emily’s interest in research and academic medicine began to evolve early in her life, especially while witnessing her father practice medicine as a physician.

UNC School of Medicine 4th-year medical student Emily Broaddus has plans to start her residency in June. She shares more about the devastating loss of her partner which led her to want to pursue patient advocacy, reproductive justice, research and education.

Q. What interested you the most in high school and college? Did you always want to be a doctor?

From a young age I knew I wanted to be a doctor. My personal experiences with the medical field and having a father who is a physician spiked my interest in medicine. Throughout high school and college, I worked at various hospitals and clinics, including MD Anderson Cancer Center, which further developed my interests in research and academic medicine.

Q. Why did you choose to become a doctor?

I became a doctor to be a patient advocate. My partner in college passed away after months of symptoms that were repeatedly dismissed by his medical team. While I was devastated by this loss, it motivated me to strive to listen to and validate my patients in every patient interaction, regardless if it is hour one or 23 in the hospital. The particular importance of patient advocacy in OB/GYN is what initially drew me to the field. Additionally, the fast-paced nature and critical thinking excite me.

Q. What is the most interesting part of medical school at Carolina?

I enjoyed being a medical student at UNC for so many reasons. The opportunity to treat patients from diverse backgrounds with wide ranges of disease processes was integral to my medical education. I also appreciated UNC’s dedication to understanding the impact of social determinants of health and treating the whole patient, not just the disease. I am grateful to all of the faculty and teachers I had the pleasure of working with during my time in medical school.

Q. What do you plan to focus on after med school (residency in what and where)?

I will start OB/GYN residency at UNC in June!

Q. What is your career goal?

I hope to complete a fellowship (still deciding which one) and work in academic medicine. I enjoy research and medical education and hope to continue them throughout my career. I am thrilled to be training at UNC, which values full-spectrum reproductive and gynecologic care. I look forward to dedicating my career to reproductive justice, patient advocacy, research, and education.