Ahwatukee resident Narry Savage recently finished her first week of schooling at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in downtown Phoenix.
Her schooling is the polar opposite of her past education, as she earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Arizona State University.
She worked in the engineering industry for nearly seven years before deciding to stay home when she became pregnant with her first child.
During her time as a stay-at-home mom, Savage, 41, had time to reflect on what she wanted to do when she entered the workforce.
Savage said she always had a desire to go to medical school and become a doctor but never pursued the career move.
“I never thought about it much. My dad was an engineer, so he kind of steered me into that direction,” she said. “In retrospect, there were a lot of signs that I was interested in medicine.”
She began seriously contemplating the notion of pursuing a career in medicine in 2001, when during her pregnancy, she lost her first child to a chromosome abnormality.
During that ordeal, Savage began researching all she could about the genetic disorder. The more she researched, the more she found she enjoyed the field of medicine.
Savage also joined an online support group for mothers who lost children during their pregnancy, which aided her through her grief process.
“That was one of the things that helped me realize that I really enjoyed learning this stuff and helping others. I found that a lot of my healing process was helping others,” she said.
Savage also endured losing her mother to ovarian cancer nearly three years ago.
“Helping her through that both medically and emotionally also solidified my determination to go to medical school to really help people,” she said.
After those two life-altering ordeals, Savage was hooked on studying medicine.
“Once I unearthed that desire to work in medicine and in the medical field, it just snowballed. The more I learned about, the more I got excited about it and the more I realized that it was a true possibility,” she said.
Savage will attend UA’s College of Medicine — Phoenix for the next four years and then finish two years of residency.
She said her first week at the school has been an eye-opening experience and has been able to find a support system with her peers.
“We’re all there to support each other; we’re not pitted against each other, so that’s nice,” she said. “Not only have I found support with my classmates, but we are also paired up with second-year med students. It’s kind of a big-sibling, little-sibling program to help us get through the first year.”
Savage is still unsure of what type of medicine she wants to focus on, but said she wants something that will allow her time to spend with her family of three children.