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Adrienne Azurdia, biology B.S.

May 10, 2009

Father’s injury motivates her to become doctor

Not all ASU freshmen know what career path they want to follow--and many are unsure about a major. Adrienne Azurdia has known she wanted to be a doctor from the time she was a young girl.

Eighteen years ago her father was in an auto accident that paralyzed him, leaving him unable to walk and vulnerable to health problems. This pushed Adrienne to learn more about what was making him suffer. The more she learned, the more she wanted to know.

She became one of the most active members of the pre-health honors society as a freshman, and last year she helped found a camp for children whose parents have cancer or have died from cancer, Camp Kesem.

Azurdia helped the club raise $35,000 so that 40 children could attend the camp free of charge. She spent a year planning their activities, and she served as a counselor, letting the kids cover her in shaving cream and honey. She found she loved helping the children heal, by showing them empathy.

She also has worked as a scribe for the emergency room doctors at Chandler Regional Hospital, spending her Friday and Saturday nights in the ER interviewing patients rather than socializing with friends. In her three years of employment, she also trained other scribes.

Now she is graduating with a biology major and a psychology minor, with a 4.0 GPA. She has been accepted into eight medical schools, including the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, where she has accepted a full-ride scholarship.