Newest Faces of McGovern: Brylee Lavoie

By Roman Petrowski, Office of Communications

Brylee Lavoie
Brylee Lavoie

What inspired you to want to pursue a career in medicine?
In elementary school, I used to play guitar in nursing homes and hospitals, and I remember feeling so excited that I could help someone feel a small bit of comfort in a difficult situation. I wanted to continue to capture that feeling throughout my life in some way.

I later worked in an underserved urban hospital and through interactions with patients and their families, I learned how healthcare access varies greatly and that many social determinants affect health status. There were few clinics in my immediate hometown compared to a large medical presence in the urban community, but in the city, the average lifespan differs over 10 years in neighboring ZIP codes. Observing these disparities inspired me to pursue a career in medicine because I wanted to help advocate and be resourceful for people in these communities to promote health equity and help them feel comfort as they navigate their health.

Why did you choose McGovern Medical School?
My goal was to attend a medical school that values student health and wellness and focused on providing compassionate care for all patients. When talking to current students at McGovern during my interview day and throughout the application process, they spoke on the support and resources McGovern provides and how positive of an experience they have had while navigating the challenges of medical school. I chose McGovern because of this emphasis on health and wellness and how this is reflected in conversations with current students, as well as for the many opportunities the medical center provides, so I would be able to find my own path in medicine surrounded by a supportive environment.

What motivates you?
I am motivated by the importance of advocating for others and being resourceful to meet needs that are disproportionately unsatisfied. I am passionate about finding and creating resources in cases where healthy and safe options are limited, and I hope to contribute to medicine by being resourceful for my patients and advocating on their behalf regarding the barriers they may be facing.

Who is your hero?
My hero is my mother. She is a single parent and has taught me so much about the importance of caring for others, routinely supporting friends who need assistance, and helping to build them back up. She is a caretaker and an amazing supporter who has immensely helped me on this journey, and I could not be more proud and grateful to call her my family.

What is your ultimate goal for your career in medicine?
My grandmother was treated for a pituitary tumor in the medical center when I was younger, and I felt so grateful that her doctors would explain what the next steps were for her care in such a compassionate way during a stressful time for my family. My ultimate goal is to communicate that level of compassion and understanding for my patients in my own practice to comfort them during difficult times in their lives.

I also hope to contribute to initiatives that address the social determinants of health, so I will be able to treat not just the disease but also understand how different factors in a patient’s life can increase susceptibility to disease.

What kind of emotions do you feel as you’re ready to begin medical school?
I am feeling grateful, excited, and nervous as I am about to start medical school. I have enjoyed meeting other incoming students and seeing how excited everyone is to start this next chapter that we have all been working toward. I am looking forward to continuing to build these relationships as we embark on the next four years together and start creating our own supportive community.

What are you looking forward to most about medical school?
I am looking forward to growing and learning with my classmates and learning how to provide compassionate patient care. I am also excited to learn how health is shaped by many factors and how preventative interventions are used in practice.

If you had to pick a medical specialty right now, what would it be and why?
If I was picking a medical specialty right now, I would probably choose family medicine. Being connected to the community and providing preventative care is important to me, and family medicine would allow me to interact with patients in a clinic setting focused on providing holistic care.

To meet all of the Newest Faces of McGovern Medical School, click here.