Clemson student discovers passion for community health, volunteerism through health science major
Every Clemson student is given the opportunity to mold their college experience to satisfy the priorities they have in their careers and their lives. The top priority for public health science major Madisyn Currie is giving back.
Currie, a native of Lexington, South Carolina, decided to pursue health science as a major because of her interests in biology and chemistry. However, Currie’s volunteer work at Clemson sparked her passion for making a difference in the space where science, medicine and people meet.
Currie works with fellow students as an on-campus tutor. She’s involved in student organizations such as the Foundation for International Medical Relief for Children (FIMRC). She has her sights set on medical school. She says her focus on people and the communities in which they live is a natural fit for her.
“Access to care is a large problem associated with health care,” Currie says. “Some populations don’t have the amenities of doctors’ offices and grocery stores. In a place such as Clemson that is surrounded by a rural population, it is important that we give back to a community from which we utilize so many resources.”
FIMRC has transformed Currie’s college experience and fueled her desire for community service, particularly as it pertains to the health care field. The organization offers clinical services, extensive community outreach efforts and health education programs for the developing world. Spring break during her freshman year, Currie went on FIMRC’s Costa Rica mission trip, which ignited her love for volunteer work.
“The mission trips do not solely pertain to health; we volunteered in soup kitchens and participated in dance therapy with adults with physical and mental disabilities, too,” Currie says. “The entire experience was eye opening, making me realize the privileges I am afforded and recognize that I need to do my part to continuously better the community.”
Upon her return from the mission trip, Currie took on numerous leadership roles within the FIMRC organization including assistant to director of local projects, and she later served as president during the 2018-2019 academic year. Through FIMRC’s mission and the public health science curriculum, Currie’s eyes have been opened to the issues surrounding health care throughout the world.
For the spring 2019 semester, Currie has been placed with Clemson-Seneca Pediatrics for an 18-hour-per-week health internship. Her duties include taking patient vital signs as well as reviewing patient history.
Currie expects to graduate with a degree in health science in May 2020. She is in the process of applying to medical school, where she hopes to become a future physician within a primary care office or emergency department.
“Med school will help me develop as a leader and allow me to help people, but it will also challenge me with complex science,” Currie says. “By gaining knowledge of diseases and conducting research, I have the ability to help children and diagnose illnesses. I would love to lead a team of people in this endeavor.”
The Clemson chapter of FIMRC offers mission trips to Costa Rica as well as local volunteer opportunities with Helping Hands and Mauldin Miracle League. FIMRC also actively participates in Clemson’s Dance Marathon, raising money for children’s hospitals throughout the state of South Carolina.
Clemson’s health science major challenges students to recognize the impact they can make on the population. With a curriculum that focuses on the basic foundations of health freshman year and grows into an in-depth exposure to public health as it pertains to the community, the program attracts young, talented students who strive to make a difference in the health care field.