As children, we tend to take social cues from the adults and family members around us. These role models are constantly leading by example on how we should act, what we can become, and what drives our passions in life. The same could be said about the passion instilled in Demi Wolford from an early age, that led her to earn her Medical Degree.
You could say that medical studies are in her blood. Growing up in Dallas, Texas, Demi was surrounded by medical professionals in her immediate family. Her father is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and her mother went to dental school. Together they run their own surgical practice. This is followed by her brother who is currently a practicing psychiatrist in New York and a sister who is a surgery resident in Dallas.
However, besides her family’s connection to medicine, she knew at a young age that this was the path she wanted to take. “I love medicine and interacting with patients,” Demi said. “When I realized family medicine was my calling, I became so excited for my future.”
After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, she knew that Saint James School of Medicine would be the perfect place to provide her with the education needed to become a doctor. “I chose Saint James School of Medicine because a long-time family friend attended the school and had a positive experience,” said Demi. “I researched the school and loved the thought of getting my education on an island.”
Throughout her time at Saint James School of Medicine, Demi utilized any free time she had to become involved in the community, both on campus and on the island. As a class representative for the Red Cross, she was able to participate in events that focused on the communities’ health on the island. In conjunction with her studies, this opportunity allowed Demi to learn and practice hands-on skills with her first patients.
She was also a member of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), Student Government Association (SGA), and the Anguilla Animal Rescue Foundation (AARF). Demi did not stop there; she noticed that there was a lack of on-campus organizations (outside of medicine) that interested her. Demi took that information and created clubs that piqued her interest, such clubs include a glee club (The KeTones) and a spin cycling group (The SJSM Spin Superstars). While diversifying herself within the community will help her to become a well-rounded and compassionate doctor down the road, it will also play a large role in her residency application.
Demi, like many students around the world, had to finish this past year partially online in response to the pandemic. When asked about the change from in-person classes to online she said that, “Virtual classes provided a nice break from the rigorous medical school schedule.” With only three of her electives changing to a virtual platform, she felt that it allowed for the flexibility to study for Step 2 CK simultaneously.
While no one is sure how long the pandemic and online classes will persist, she has some helpful tips for students new to the medical program or those who have yet to find an at-home routine that works for them. “Set goals for yourself and stick to them! This includes goals on all levels: daily, weekly, and monthly,” she said. “Without the set schedule of in-person classes, it can be easy to be more relaxed and slow your progress.”
Demi is currently in the process of applying for a residency in Family Medicine and looks forward to starting said program in the Summer of 2021. Along with Demi completing her residency, she is also working towards her Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas.
“Medical school requires hard work, focus, and dedication. It is no cake-walk, but I am so glad I did it,” said Demi. “It can be scary to think about the years of medical school and training ahead of you, but enjoy the ride!” While on the verge of graduating, receiving her MD, and starting residency, there is a world of opportunities waiting for her and we can’t wait to see where she goes next. From everyone here at Saint James School of Medicine, good luck in this next journey of your life, we can’t wait to hear all about it.
Follow Demi at @ddemsta on Instagram to see what is going on in her life and to ask any questions you may have. She welcomes the opportunity to help students on their way to becoming a doctor.
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Therese Massri