According to Black News, Dr. Ashley Roxanne Peterson is just 24-years old and a medical doctor after starting medical school at 19-years old. She is one of the newest graduates of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and started her Family Medicine residency at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA in July 2019.
She is the youngest Black Osteopathic doctor ever, in modern history. In an exclusive interview with Black News, the California native gave us insight about her years in undergrad, choosing her medical profession and her future endeavors.
On Being Young
Ashley shared that she has always been the youngest in her class, graduating high school at fifteen and then enrolling at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte at just fifteen years old as well. During her time there, she majored in Anthropology and was able to graduate in 4 years – with honors.
She says it has not always been easy being the youngest, as many people doubted her abilities based on her age alone. Without even getting to know her, many people turned away. When asked if she would do it over again she quickly replied: “yes – of course”. She never felt as though she missed out from being younger but rather gain a different perspective from her other classmates.
Ashley says her passion for medicine started from seeing her parents service to the military and education. From their examples, she knew that she wanted to help people for the rest of her life. As a young girl, her passion for science began and by the time she graduated high school, she knew medicine was the career for her. Once in college, shadowing doctors, volunteering, and her classwork only furthered her previous interest in medicine.
Her Best Advice
From her story of resilience, one thing that Ashley wants people to know is to never give up. Even when times were hard during her medical school journey she relied on her family and friends’ support to achieve her dreams. Her best advice is “ if you fall nine times stand up ten”.
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💪🏽❤️ Resilience ❤️💪🏽 People often say “fail early“ & true to form I did – 😂🤷🏽♀️. But that is not the end of my story! Since then, I have returned stronger. During the last 5 years I have had some downs but oh how there have been so many ups! 👇🏽 ❤️ Of 24 clerkships, I earned 21 Honors evaluations. Fourth year? All honors (& all GOD!) ❤️ Served as President of our #SNMA chapter awarded “Student Org of the Year” & “Most Dedicated to the Community” ❤️ Participated in 8 weeks of #Geriatrics research at Johns Hopkins’s Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) program ❤️ Won the 2017 #AGS Presidential Epidemiology “Best Paper Award”. The highest national award for presenting students. ❤️ Finished 7 #research publications & presentations including 5 first author projects ❤️ Served over 500 #volunteer hours ❤️ Served in 5 SNMA #leadership positions including a Chair on the national Board of Directors ❤️Built a company from scratch that reached over 500,000 impressions & 10,000 monthly visitors towards its end (RIP #dailymedicine) ❤️ Maintained 7 National #Memberships & so many other amazing experiences. ❤️ So I say to those who have overcome an obstacle whether in school, work, or just life in general: keep #growing #learning #improving. Hard work pays off !❤️ (& I mean did you really think Morehouse was going to let just anyone into their amazing residency program? I hustled for this dream ❤️😂😉)
She also stated, “I went into medicine knowing that I want to help underserved and minority communities and I am continuing those passions as I continue into residency. I chose my residency based on their mission statement, current leadership, and how they give back to the community.”
Morehouse School of Medicine’s Family Medicine mission statement states, “The mission of the MSM Family Medicine Residency is to train residents to become competent and excellent family physicians to serve underserved populations. Everything comes full circle – thus, never lose sight of why you started!”
Looking forward, Ashley has big plans to use her education to help the communities around her. She has a special interest in global medicine, preventative medicine, minority health, media-driven health outcomes, and geriatrics.
She hopes to use these interests to build businesses that help patients and their families achieve their best health. Read more about Dr. Roxanne here.