GWU Alumna Combined Religious Studies and Chemistry to Prepare for Medical School

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Natalie Pippin Britt ’08 Developed Critical Thinking Skills Useful for Diagnosing Patients

Natalie Pippin Britt '08 holds a baby she delivered, Landon. As a family medicine resident in Savannah, Ga., Britt cares for the whole family, mom and dad, Tika Petersen and Rob Johns, and Landon's brother, Mason.

When she examines a patient to determine a diagnosis, Natalie Pippin Britt ’08 relies on the critical thinking skills she developed as an undergraduate at Gardner-Webb University. The first-year resident in family medicine at Memorial Hospital in Savannah, Ga., began her educational journey as a religious studies major. She had considered vocational ministry, but soon realized her calling was outside the church. “Through my own medical struggles during my sophomore year, I re-discovered my passion for medicine,” she reflected. “I got sick and just couldn’t seem to get better. I ended up having sinus surgery and having my tonsils taken out.”

While she was recovering, she looked into the requirements for medical school and realized she didn’t need a science degree to apply. “I could continue pursuing my BA in religious studies and take the requisite science classes for medical school,” shared Britt, a native of Augusta, Ga. “Pursuing a humanities degree with a uniquely Christian foundation shaped my worldview in ways that inform my understanding of disease and cure, and suffering and wellness.”

The science classes she took for her minor in chemistry prepared her to pass the Medical College Admission Test and helped her succeed in the pre-clinical years of medical school. “Additionally, my science professors at Gardner-Webb taught me how to synthesize facts and evaluate scientific literature, which are skills that I use routinely as I try to remain evidence-based in my practice,” Britt offered.

While her studies equipped her to excel in medical school, her years at Gardner-Webb also developed her character and Christian values. “I look back on my four years at Gardner-Webb and marvel that such a short period of time in my life could have such a tremendous influence on me,” Britt asserted. “Gardner-Webb provides a remarkable, incomparable blend of expectation, equipping, and encouragement. The expectation is academic rigor and excellence in scholarship. The equipping for rigor and excellence occurs in the context of small class settings with world-class professors passionate about guiding you to discover your giftedness and voice. This all occurs in the context of an unashamedly Christian community that encourages students to grow as servants of Christ.”