Born of a partnership between Tufts University School of Medicine and Maine Medical Center, Maine Track Early Assurance reserves a limited number of seats per year for sophomores from University of Maine System institutions, and Bowdoin, Bates and Colby colleges. The program was established in 2008 (the first round of students was accepted in 2009) with the hope that a significant number of its graduates will go on to practice medicine in Maine. Since then, 10 UMaine students have been accepted into the program, including the most recent group, India Stewart, Leigh Johnson, Jennifer MacDowell, and Erica Hidu.
As part of the Maine Mentor program, India Stewart shadowed neonatologist Kumar Akilesh. The first time she witnessed a birth, she was hooked: “I felt completely in my element. I was determined to support this woman and eliminate her fears of natural birth in a hospital setting. That is my goal.”
India Stewart, Verona Island, Maine
Biology, Pre-Med, Honors
When Leigh Johnson was 12, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. For Leigh, who already had dreams of becoming a doctor, the experience underscored the importance of patient advocacy and the possible benefits of alternative medicine. She plans to bring that focus to her own practice for a holistic approach to women’s health.
Leigh Johnson, Yarmouth, Maine
Jenny MacDowell’s quest for knowledge has taken her around the world, most recently to New Zealand, where she spent a semester at the University of Auckland. While she’s drawn to the operating room, she wants to learn as much as she can about other specialties before choosing one.
Jennifer MacDowell, Littleton, Mass.
Biochemistry, Pre-Med, Honors
As a fourth-generation Mainer, Erica Hidu has a deep-rooted commitment to the state and its unique needs. “I try to be realistic about becoming a healthcare professional. We have legitimate problems and issues we need to understand to become better physicians.”
Erica Hidu, Hampden, Maine
Microbiology, Pre-Med, Honors
Article from UMaine Today, Spring 2012, page 27