A Natural Listener: Medical Student Emphasizes Doctor-Patient Communications

Feb 28, 2019
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KCU Med Student Brandalynn Holland

Brandalynn Holland, a first-year student at the KCU-Joplin campus, was partly drawn to medicine by an aspect of the profession that can be underappreciated: the importance of communication between doctor and patient.

“The opportunity to share knowledge with patients, and do that in a way that will build trust so they will follow recommendations, is a very important factor in getting better outcomes,” said Holland. “I’ve had leadership roles in the past, where I was able to develop my interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, and I try to improve my communication on a daily basis.”

Part of that work is taking place in Holland’s critical medicine studies, working through standardized patient encounters.

“At first it can be difficult to differentiate what is most important,” Holland said. “As we've progressed with these interactions throughout the course of a year, I’ve gained more confidence in my abilities in narrowing down what's critical about what they are telling me.”

“Brandalynn is a very determined young woman. Not only does she have her masters from the KCU College of Biosciences, she is now a first-year medical student and is enrolled in the dual degree program with the Bioethics department.” said Kirby Randolph, PhD, an assistant professor of bioethics and medical humanities. “She is soft-spoken but very serious about her goals. She has built a strong support group of friends, family and mentors who support her professional journey.”

Holland, who hails from Clarksville, Tenn., finds the substance and pace at the Joplin campus suits her. “I like the interactions that I'm able to have with my professors, and the city of Joplin is similar to Clarksville,” noted Holland. “There aren’t as many distraction as you would have in a big city, so Joplin is a good fit for me.”

A multi-sport high school athlete, Holland is considering ways to combine her love of sport with her passion for medicine when she begins her professional career. “I know sports well, and want to help athletes with the prevention of injuries so they can avoid damaging or career-ending problems,” Holland said.

“Brandalynn understands the dedication and competitiveness required for success as an athlete, and has the demeanor of someone who lets her ‘game’ speak for itself,” said Randolph. “I look forward to watching her career develop as she grows in expertise.”

At the moment, Holland is taking her time sizing up her options. “Pediatrics is another strong interest. I’m looking forward to the rotations and the third and fourth years, and keeping an open mind.”

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