Charlotte Ballentine
Cornelius, North Carolina
Undergraduate Degree:
Human Biology with minors in Genetics and Nutrition, North Carolina State University

1. What made  you want to get your MD degree at WVU?

When I came up for my interview I thought everyone was very  friendly and talkative.  I was nervous about going far away from home, but  on my visit I realized the students and faculty here exude a sense southern  hospitality making me feel right at home.  

2. What made  the program so appealing?  

I love all the time we get to spend in the Simulation Lab.   We went several times during first year and with the expansion opening soon, I  am sure we will have the opportunity to go many more times in the future.   These opportunities help us practice good bedside manner while learning about  various medical devices in a controlled setting.  It was one of the  factors I was looking for in the school I wanted to attend.  

3. What is  your favorite part of the program?

I really like that exams are every third Friday.  It allows  us to have a built in weekend off once a month to visit family and friends and  get to know our classmates.  I love exploring various hiking spots around  town and enjoying a yummy meal on High Street on our off weekends. It’s also  less stressful having our tests spaced out rather than numerous smaller exams  each week.

4. What  makes going to the Charleston Campus for 3rd and 4th year unique from those who  do their 3rd and 4th years in Eastern or Morgantown?  

I’m excited about a change in scenery and the opportunity to see  another part of “Wild and Wonderful” West Virginia.  I think the hospital  experience will be equal to the other two campuses with the additional  excitement of a large women’s and children’s hospital. Also, Charleston is  geared more towards young professionals with cute restaurants and shops  downtown - perfect for a shopaholic like me!

5. What made  you want to become a doctor?

I’m a very active and talkative person, so I wanted a career  where I would be able to walk and talk each day.  I also like the fact  that I will be able to support my patients and their loved ones during times of  angst and hopefully bring a positive light to help them through.  

6. How do  you balance your home, school, and social life?

I like to get up early and work hard all day so I can get my  school work done by 9pm. Then I can talk to family or just relax and watch  TV.  I try to fit in time to go to the gym a few times a week to keep my  mental status well. Additionally, block weekends are a great time to travel or  get some rest and relaxation.  

7. What do  you think about the school's community service requirements?  

I think it is a great way to get involved in my new community.  Morgantown has already brought me so much and it only seems right to give back  in any way I can.

8. The  program had a week long orientation before classes started.  What did you  think of that?

I really enjoyed orientation!  I was able to get settled into  Morgantown and find my way around the school. I was also able to establish a  group a friends before classes began so I didn’t feel so far from home.

9. What are  your goals after graduating?

To be a doctor!  I’m not sure what type of medicine I would  like to practice, but I’ve looked into Internal Medicine and Obstetrics.   I’m leaving my options open so I don’t miss out on anything.  I’m most  looking forward to having a fulfilling career and a family life.  

10. What is your favorite thing to do outside of school?

I like to run on the rail trail by the river.  It is a nice  green space where I can get away from downtown and enjoy the outdoors.   There are also some routes that medical students have put together near the  medical center so that you can run on during a quick study break.  

11. Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about medical school?

I would say to explore all of your options and to make sure  medical school is the choice for you.  It will be very challenging and you  need a sense of why you want to be a physician to keep you grounded during the  stressful times.  Additionally, find extracurricular activities in  undergraduate where you meet people from different backgrounds or where you are  challenged to do new things. The more life experience you have, the easier it  will be to relate to your patients in the future.

- Interviewed summer of 2015