Meet Rebecca: I graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD in 2014 with a B.A. in philosophy and liberal arts. Before deciding to pursue a career in medicine, I worked as a high school teacher in Phoenix and spent several seasons doing wilderness conservation work with the Park Service and Forest Service throughout the Rocky Mountain corridor. In 2016 I moved to Bozeman to complete a post-bacc. in pre-medicine at MSU and fell in love with the area, as well as with working at Bridgercare! Currently I am in the process of applying to medical schools.
Why did you choose to enter the medical profession?
Because I wanted to do practical work that would improve the lives of others, as well as intellectually engage and challenge me. I like keeping my hands and mind busy at the same time! I’m also interested in medicine as an inherently ethical practice.
What are some common misconceptions you hear from patients about Bridgercare or reproductive health in general?
A lot of people seem to think we are an affiliate of Planned Parenthood, which is simply not true. While there is some overlap between the services we both provide, Bridercare doesn’t offer abortion services and we aren’t political active on a national scale as PP is. Instead, we focus our efforts on providing outstanding preventive services and patient care within the Gallatin Valley, as well as working to educate the community.
Bridgercare also offers a lot more than just birth control. We screen for cervical and breast cancer, provide preconception, fertility, and genetics counseling, offer vaccinations, manage the symptoms of menopause, offer pre-exposure prophylaxis for those at risk of HIV, provide hormone therapy for transgender patients, and so much more, in addition to providing evidence-based treatment and education.
What is the most important thing Bridgercare does for patients and the community?
Bridgercare shows patients what medicine looks like at its best, and helps people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds to feel comfortable accessing healthcare. We also work to normalize reproductive and sexual health, which are topics that have historically been marginalized.
How do you want a patient to feel after a visit with you?
Educated and empowered.
What is your favorite part about working at Bridgercare?
Having the best coworkers! We have an incredible staff here. Everyone is thoughtful, driven, and compassionate – not to mention hilarious!
What are some helpful hints or practices you do in your own life to improve your physical and mental health?
Take a nalgene everywhere you go, do exercise that brings you joy, focus on the things that actually make you feel good instead of what you see other people doing, start with small changes and allow them to snowball.
What do you do in your free time when you aren’t working at Bridgercare?
I have a fairly consistent yoga practice, love to cook, spend a good bit of time reading, and sporadically write and run. I’m also a volunteer board member and client care coordinator for the Susan Wicklund Fund, as well as a volunteer with Thrive.
Do you have a favorite quote or saying that you can share with us?
“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” – John Wooden