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Holly Corkill has an adventurous spirit. With her older sister, Emily, the Scranton native has backpacked through many exotic locales, including India, Sumatra, Madagascar and Laos. “Every time I travel, it changes my perspective,” she said. It’s ironic, then, that perhaps her biggest shift in focus happened when she was on the job in Jessup.

After her graduation with a neuroscience degree from the University of Pittsburgh, Holly was working in a microbiology lab at the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation in Jessup. “I had considered medicine while I was a student at Scranton High,” she said. “I’ve always loved science, nature and art, and medicine seemed to draw elements from each of those interests. But after college, I wanted to be done with school for awhile. The company I was working for was great. About once a quarter, they would bring in speakers – usually family members of donors or the recipients themselves – to share their stories. It occurred to me then that I wanted to be on the other side, working with the patients and their families and not in a lab. It reaffirmed my interest in medicine.”

Holly said she felt she needed to approach her new goal with a refreshed science background, so she enrolled in Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine’s master of biomedical sciences program. “I developed strong relationships with the faculty during that time,” she said. “It was a supportive environment. I thought ‘this is home.’ So it was natural for me to choose Geisinger Commonwealth as my first choice in medical schools.”

Now a second-year medical student, Holly is fairly certain she wants to pursue surgery as her specialty, but she’s keeping an open mind as her third- and fourth-year rotations approach.

Despite plans to become involved in improving healthcare in the developing world, ultimately, Holly said she will return to practice in northeastern Pennsylvania. “There’s so much opportunity to make an impact here,” she said. “I think when young professionals like me decide to stay, others will want to stay too and improve the quality of life for our community.”
Holly Corkill