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Thursday, July 25, 2024

41-year-old mother of 9 bags bachelors degree in Medicine, set to become a Neurosurgeon

41-year-old mother of 9,  Sarah Merrill has bagged a bachelor’s degree in Medicine at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, Arizona in the United States.

Sarah graduated from the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, Arizona in the  United States. She is a mother of nine who enrolled in medical school when her youngest child was 4 years old.

She said in an interview with GMA that her journey to medical school began at the age of 17 when she entered Dartmouth College, United States as a pre-medical major. While in the university, she met her husband, got married, and had a daughter who was five months old when she and her husband graduated from college.

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Sarah stated that she took the Medical College Admission Test with plans to go directly to medical school, but she changed her mind and decided to be a stay-at-home mom while her daughter was young. It was then she and her husband began to grow their family.

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“We weren’t necessarily going for a large family, in particular, in our planning, but that is what we did. We ended up having four daughters and five sons, and we had all nine of those kids in 12 years,” she said.

While raising her kids, Sarah said she worked part-time in medical research and when her youngest child was 2, she decided to go back to school. She said she first thought about earning a master’s degree but later decided to follow her original dream of attending medical school.

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“I was 34 and I decided to go back and start taking some more recent coursework and I had to retake the MCAT. I remember studying for the MCAT when my two youngest were 2 and 3 years old and my 2-year-old would climb on me like a mountain while I was trying to take practice tests,” she said.




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Sarah stated that when she was accepted at the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, she and her family made the decision together and they moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona so she could attend.

“Before I even applied to medical school, we had a big family meeting and everybody got to voice their opinion about it and we explained to them what it would mean. They all gave it a big vote of support at the time,” she said.

While in medical school, Sarah said she relied on a village of support, including her mom, who moved to Arizona to help, and her husband, who was able to keep his job and work remotely from Arizona.

She noted that she felt lucky to see her studies inspiring her children, including seeing her 11-year-old daughter want to become a surgeon and overhearing her teenage son tell his friends, “My mom’s so cool. She’s going to be a brain surgeon.”

Sarah said she went from being the only mother in her class at the beginning of medical school to being one of three moms in the program. Thought it kept her busy, she found being a mom made her a better medical school student and ultimately doctor.

Sarah mentioned that she and her family are now moving to Indiana, where she will begin her residency in neurosurgery at Indiana University in the United States.

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