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Alumna Emmy Inwards ’18 Is Ready to Make a Tangible Difference in Healthcare

On her way to becoming a doctor, alumna Emmy Inwards ’18 cherishes her connections with Bethel professors, Allina Health Emergency Department providers, former classmates and fellow medical scribes. She looks forward to celebrating her love of learning as she begins medical school this fall in Camden, New Jersey.

By Katie Johnson ’19, content specialist

May 20, 2020 | 2:45 p.m.

Emmy Inwards '18 studied abroad in Ireland during her junior year at Bethel. She currently works as an emergency department scribe as she prepares to start medical school.

Emmy Inwards '18 studied abroad in Ireland during her junior year at Bethel. She currently works as an emergency department scribe as she prepares to start medical school.

“Let’s just preface this by saying I love my job,” says alumna Emmy Inwards ’18 as she fits a piece into the Gustav Klimt puzzle on her dining room table. “It has been such a good experience for me, and I am so happy there.”

Inwards currently works as a lead medical scribe for Emergency Physicians Professional Association (EPPA) in the Twin Cities Allina Health Emergency Departments. No two shifts look or feel the same, but the high-stress, high-demand environment proves perfect for Inwards’ energetic nature. And, nothing can beat the community of healthcare providers and scribes in which she’s found herself.

Especially since that community reminds her a little bit of Bethel.

Inwards was a fourth-generation Bethel student. Her great-grandfather attended Bethel College, and her grandfather Dwight Jessup served as vice president and dean of academic affairs between George Brushaber and Jay Barnes. Her parents met at Bethel, and Inwards and her two sisters, Megan ’20 and Brita ’23, each decided to continue the legacy, starting with Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) and pursuing degrees in the biological sciences.

Following her family wasn’t the only or even the most important reason Inwards chose Bethel. Rather, she was drawn to the strong science department and the professors who were willing to pour life into their students. Inwards formed her own connections and felt supported by both professors and fellow students as she majored in biochemistry with plans to go to medical school.

“I stumbled into an interest in medicine. I really would like to make a concrete difference in people’s lives. I became curious about healthcare since it involved a lot of my strengths: my hard work ethic, my love of learning, my love of people, and most importantly, this extremely tangible way to help people.”

— Emmy Inwards '18

Someone who has always rooted for Inwards is Professor of Biological Sciences and Pre-medicine Advisor Tim Shaw. She took his Gross Human Anatomy class during interim her sophomore year, and she loved the class so much she became his teaching assistant. As they spent hours creating tests and tagging structures on the cadavers for the fast-paced class, Inwards discovered a mentor in Shaw. “He got to tell me about his life, and I got to tell him about my life,” Inwards said. “He’s someone who has been so fun to get to know, and I loved getting to be a teaching assistant for the physician assistant students over the summer and see him in that element. He is a fantastic professor.” 

Similar to how Inwards connected with her Bethel professors, she has formed valuable relationships with the EPPA providers. In some ways, that’s what the job is all about. Scribing offers a paid opportunity to shadow healthcare providers, who demonstrate how to care for patients on arguably the most stressful days of their lives, and they take the time, when appropriate, to share insights about a certain diagnosis or even the medical school process as a whole. Multiple providers helped Inwards with her own medical school applications and wrote her letters of recommendation, providing powerful resources and support in the stressful process.

A group of providers even invited Inwards to attend a medical conference in New York with them last fall. “It was the greatest experience,” Inwards says. “I’ve gotten really close to them. I also think that, if like me, you’re a scribe who wants to make an effort to really build connections, they’re super open to that. When we went to New York, they were like, ‘We’re doing this for you, so that you can do this for other people someday.’”

As a lead scribe for her team at EPPA, Inwards relishes the opportunity to support other scribes as they train and grow used to the world inside the emergency department (ED)—which is unlike anything new scribes could ever expect. Inwards explains that these scribes and providers are exposed to people who are not at their best, and their job is to care for them in their time of greatest need. As a supervisor, Inwards does her best to check in with new hires, and she takes the time during performance reviews to ask how they’re adjusting, and if they have any questions about applying to medical school. She is mere steps ahead of them in the process, but she’s eager to share what advice has been given to her in hopes of supporting her fellow scribes and even former classmates, since a surprising number of Bethel students and alumni work as EPPA scribes.

“Bethel students have this earnestness. There’s a genuine desire to help other people. No guile, no secret motivations. They have a genuine desire to make a difference and learn what that means in the ED.”

— Emmy Inwards '18

Inwards also appreciates that Bethel provided a beneficial way to think about the heartache she sees on a daily basis. As she looks forward to a life defined by caring for sick people, she knows there’s a great potential to become jaded and fatalistic. “I learned at Bethel that there is something greater to put your faith in. It’s so refreshing. Life isn’t represented by all this suffering I see. And also, it’s good to stay calm and be loving in the face of very challenging patients. I wish I had a lot more Christ-like love,” Inwards laughs as she rotates another yellow puzzle piece.

Inwards will be attending Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, New Jersey, this fall, and she can’t wait to make new connections, continue learning about medicine, and to find ways to give back to those in her community, wherever that may be moving forward. “You give it back,” Inwards says. “If you are going to get all this help from others, you’ve got to be willing to give it back.”

Pre-Medicine & Healthcare Professions at Bethel

Bethel offers many opportunities to prepare for careers in health professions, including pre-med options. Various undergraduate and graduate majors provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to pursue careers in medicine, nursing, dentistry, physician assistant, physical therapy, pharmacy, and other healthcare fields.

With a long-standing tradition of solid pre-med and healthcare programs, our graduates gain admission into well-known professional schools that launch them into meaningful careers.

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