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Katrina Hartman ’20

A variety of Exploreships reaffirmed Katrina Hartman's decision to become a physician


Katrina Hartman ’20 has known for a while she wanted to become a medical doctor. She reaffirmed that decision throughout her time at Simpson College. During her undergraduate education, Hartman took part in multiple Exploreships which provided real-life, hands-on experience in the field of medicine. She realized her calling to become a physician thanks to experiences ranging from volunteering at a hospital to conducting undergraduate research to working as a medical scribe. To complete her journey, Hartman is returning to her home state to complete the Doctor of Medicine program at the University of Minnesota. 

About Katrina

Hometown: New Prague, Minnesota
Major: Neuroscience
Minor: Biology
Involvement at Simpson: Volleyball, pre-Health Society, IMPULSE, Chemistry Club, Career Peer, Intramurals, Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society
Exploreships at Simpson: ScribeAmerica, Undergraduate Research, Blank Children's Hospital Volunteer, Research at Des Moines University
Graduate Program: Doctor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota


You'll be going to medical school to become a physician. Was there a specific part of your Simpson Experience that helped you discover your passion?
I definitely had reaffirming experiences throughout my time at Simpson. Simpson has the most amazing science department! I had great professors, several of whom I consider mentors. Another huge factor that reaffirmed my career path was my work for ScribeAmerica in the emergency department.

What was it about your work with ScribeAmerica that reaffirmed your decision to become a medical doctor?
Working side-by-side with physicians exposed me to emergency department workflow and a variety of patients. I was often required to picture myself in the position of the physician in order to anticipate their next actions. I felt like I had an important role in the hospital process, but I wanted more. I wanted to heal patients. This reaffirmed my future goals to be a physician.

Simpson College graduate Katrina Hartman presents research
Katrina Hartman ’20 took part in undergraduate research at Simpson College, one of many experiences that reaffirmed her decision to become a physician. Following graduation, she enrolled in the Doctor of Medicine program at the University of Minnesota. 

What kind of support did you receive from the faculty and staff at Simpson?
Dr. [Jackie] Brittingham (professor of biology) was a huge supporter of my professional pursuits. She was my advisor throughout my time at Simpson (as well as my professor for several classes) and went above and beyond to make sure that I had opportunities to succeed. I truly cannot thank her enough for all her help.

Bobbi Sullivan (director of career development) also supported me greatly, as she guided me through the medical school application process. This was especially useful when I reached interviews. Dr. [Aswati] Subramanian (assistant professor of biology), although not my official advisor, also was a key mentor figure for me and was willing to meet whenever I needed anything.

These three (and many of my other professors) had such an impact because they got to know me individually and understand who I am as a person, not just another paper to grade. I think these close relationships are what make Simpson College really special. 

It sounds like you utilized the Office of Career Development at Simpson. Can you elaborate?
YES! I was a Career Peer so I mentored other peers and worked closely with Bobbi Sullivan to ensure I was providing them with accurate advice and resources. I also utilized the office personally through several mock interviews, attending workshops and creating my resume. I recommend the Office of Career Development to any student, whether they know what they want to do after college or not!

What are you going to miss most about Simpson? 
I will miss living so close to, and spending so much time with my friends!

The interdisciplinary nature of neuroscience at Simpson college will immerse you in coursework across a variety of departments to help you understand how signals in the brain underlie important processes such as memory, learning and sensory perception and lead to pathologies such as schizophrenia, dementia and developmental disorders.