Ana Martinez will study to obtain medical degree, become a physician
Ana Martinez ’23, who just graduated with a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry, will pursue a graduate level education to obtain a medical degree from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in St. Maarten. After two years of academic study in St. Maarten, she will return to her hometown of Danbury, Connecticut, to find a nearby practice for two years of clinical rotations.
Martinez is working to become a physician specializing in cardiovascular health for women and children. Her dream is to be a cardiologist promoting an environment of open communication, honesty and ethical integrity with her patients.
These dreams of becoming a physician are rooted in the significant impact that Dr. Belinda Barbagallo, assistant professor in the Department of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, had on Martinez.
“Dr. Barbagallo believed in me and saw my potential before I could recognize it,” Martinez said. “She became a wonderful research mentor and a supporting faculty I could rely on.”
Under the supervision of Dr. Barbagallo, Martinez was able to help form two research projects that were funded by the Rhode Island IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (RI-INBRE)’s biomedical research program. These projects helped her not only grow as a student, but they taught her valuable lessons about taking risks, moderating her own projects, working in a team environment and communicating with others.
Martinez lists her biology and chemistry courses as being vital for applying the material that she was learning to external problems rather than just memorization, giving her an opportunity that was both fruitful and challenging. She is excited to keep these important skills in mind as she continues towards a medical career in the future.
“I learned to take initiative, make decisions and be accountable for my results,” she said.
After going through the program herself, Martinez is the first to admit that obtaining her bachelor’s degree in biology was not easy, but it was extremely rewarding. Throughout the difficult process, she is proud of the new abilities she discovered by testing her limits within her classes.
“The biology department takes pride in preparing its students with the tools needed to succeed in any career they choose,” Martinez said, thanking the faculty for their undying support.
While looking forward to what the future brings her, Martinez is also reflecting on how much she enjoyed her experience at her beloved school and all the important lessons that she learned — from the necessity of making connections to thinking critically.
“Salve Regina is a place you feel comfortable calling a second home,” she said. “It allows you to find your sense of belonging, grow and experience your life as a student. Its support system is here to help you find the things you genuinely enjoy and wish to pursue.”
For more Class of 2023 stories, go here.
This story was written by student writer Caitlyn Bailey ’25
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