From poverty to possibilities
Mayo medical student pays it forward, cares for underserved
From a poverty-stricken home in northern Idaho to Mayo Medical School, Mira Coleman has come a long way.
Learning what's important
As a young child, Coleman lived with her mother and two sisters in a house without electricity or an indoor bathroom. She learned a lot from her mother who worked as many as three jobs at a time. "I don't know how she did it," says Coleman, "but we learned to focus on the things that are the most important from a very young age."
Now in her third year at Mayo Medical School, Coleman is learning a lot from her professors and mentors. "My teachers are wonderful, and all of them really do live and breathe the motto, 'The patient comes first.'"
Paying it forward
While attending medical school, Coleman gets to practice applying a patient-first philosophy during real-world experiences. One of the primary reasons she chose Mayo was its dedication to public health and underserved communities. A partnership between Mayo Clinic Medical School and the Salvation Army created the REACH Clinic in Rochester where Coleman volunteers.
Childhood experiences gave Coleman a passion for helping underserved communities. "It's been a very humbling journey for me," says Coleman. "My goal is to help pay it forward to others."
The world of medicine
Coleman enjoys other opportunities to learn beyond the classroom. In addition to firsthand learning in clinics, she has had the opportunity to participate in Mayo health initiatives in Africa and the Dominican Republic. "We're exposed to completely different practices of medicine, culturally and ethically."
As Coleman plans for her future, with a residency in pediatrics, she will continue to make caring for underserved communities a priority.