“I want to be a role model and help my children realize that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams, and that dreams are achievable with enough passion, drive and dedication,” fourth-year medical student Narry Savage said.
Along with being a full-time medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, Savage is a mother of three.
“Sometimes it is difficult to manage medical school and being a mother, but I have to be disciplined in only wearing one hat at a time,” she said. “Either I am Narry the student or I am Mom. I haven’t had as much time to study or volunteer as I would like, but the time I have with my family is worth it. It’s about striking a balance between school and family obligations.”
Savage, 44, spent seven years prior to medical school in the electrical engineering industry. After a few life altering events including the loss of her first child to a chromosome abnormality and losing her mother to ovarian cancer, Savage began contemplating a career in medicine.
“I have always had a particular interest in health and the human body, even at a young age, and thought very briefly about medicine, but pursued engineering instead,” she said. “There were a few life events that made me realize some of my strengths and a friend who helped to reignite my passion in medicine and put these strengths to work.”
Throughout her education, Savage’s first priority has always been her family.
“When I began this journey, I established the rule that my family will always come first,” she said. “Phoenix is where we live, where family is, and where our roots are. I want to stay in this beautiful community where I grew up, and where my children are growing up.”
As a fourth-year student, Savage has done multiple rotations across different specialties in the Phoenix area.
“My most memorable time in rotations was when I was present when a hospice patient took his last breaths,” she said. “His family wasn’t able to be there for him during his passing, so I was grateful that he did not pass on alone. His passing was calm and serene, it was an honor to be present for him.”
Entering medical school, Savage said that she didn’t have a particular specialty that she was interested in, but during her pediatrics rotation, she realized that she really enjoyed working with children and the unique challenges it presented.
“I want to help children be healthy and I want to be there for them and their families,” she said. “Since I was a mother first, I appreciate the perspectives of parents taking care of their children. I think this will serve me well as I plan on pursuing pediatrics. My kids and husband are my biggest cheerleaders, they have left me notes and treats stating ‘Go mom for metuckl scool’ that means so much to me.”
Savage recommends that mothers who are thinking of attending medical school to have a good support system around them.
“Whether it be family or friends, I wouldn’t be able to do this without my husband, dad, and mother-in-law who help me juggle the daily tasks of taking care of my family,” Savage said. “My friends are so important to help me emotionally through the tough times and to celebrate the accomplishments.”
About the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix admitted its inaugural class of first-year medical students in August 2007 and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The College inspires and trains exemplary physicians, scientists and leaders to optimize health and health care in Arizona and beyond. The College is uniquely positioned to accelerate the biomedical and economic engines in Phoenix and the State by leveraging vital relationships with key clinical and community partners. For more, visit phoenixmed.arizona.edu/tenyears.