West River Area Health Education Center

Monthly AHEC Scholar Profile - February 2021

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Meet one of our 2020 AHEC Scholars! This month we are excited to feature Gabrielle Smith, a student at South Dakota Mines pursuing a triple major.

Gabrielle Smith headshotGabrielle Smith
South Dakota Mines

I am a senior at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology pursuing a BS in Biology, a BS in Mathematics, and a BS in Science, Technology, and Society.  I am graduating in December of 2022.  After my undergraduate education, I would like to pursue an MD, a JD, and a PhD in computational psychiatry.  My own experiences within the healthcare system have directly impacted my understanding of the importance of, and my commitment to pursuing, all three of these areas.  As a result, my more clinical focuses are in behavioral health, rural and LGBTQ+ healthcare, and public health.  In regards to law and policy, I would like to use the knowledge that I will gain in law school to help better advocate for and empower patients, in addition to having a more thorough understanding of the systems that I will be operating within as a physician.  As for research, my main interest is in the utilization of computational methods to help better classify and diagnose psychiatric disorders.  Whether through clinical practice, working in law and policy, or research, my objectives are these: to help promote healthcare at all levels, the improvement of society through continual work with others and the pursual of social justice, and increasing accessibility throughout medicine for patients, students, and professionals.

Other than the aforementioned topics, I also enjoy learning about different languages, literature, and the visual arts.  At the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, I am mainly involved in Math Club and Alpha Omega Epsilon.  I have lived in Rapid City for a large part of my life and graduated from Rapid City Central High School.  In my free time, I enjoy running, baking, and adding (probably excessive) commentary on various movies and TV shows. 

We are ecstatic that Gabrielle chose to be a part of AHEC Scholars and look forward to watching her pursue her education and career goals! The AHEC Scholars program is designed for college-level health profession students interested in supplementing their education by gaining relevant knowledge and experiences in rural and underserved areas of SD. Program activities cover the following six Core Topics: Interprofessional Education, Behavioral Health Integration, Social Determinants of Health, Cultural Competency, Practice Transformation, and Current and Emerging Health Issues. Learn more about this free, prfoessional development program here.


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