Fourth-year University of Maine student Amber Coxen is making the best out of her prolonged undergraduate career. While her expected graduation date had to be pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she still has a positive outlook and is focusing on her studies to reach her end goal.
Growing up in Dayton, Maine, just outside of Saco, Coxen attended Thornton Academy before attending UMaine. She is studying biology with a concentration in pre-med and anthropology.
“I decided to do two majors because I’ve always really liked [understanding] the humanistic side of things,” Coxen said. “It’s very rigorous but I really enjoy having both the sciences and the humanities working together to give me a broader perspective.”
Coxen will be receiving two bachelor’s degrees rather than having the two majors listed on one bachelor’s degree.
Her family and home life were an inspiration for choosing what she’d like to do in the future. Coxen hopes to join her two majors to become a doctor. She plans to apply to medical school after she graduates.
“I chose to study bio pre-med because I’ve always had a passion for medicine and I think it’s really powerful to be able to help others,” Coxen said. “I have a family that is all medical professionals, so it seemed like a natural choice for me. I also really had a passion for understanding why people needed the help that they do, and getting a more cultural relativist perspective was why I combined anthropology.”
Coxen’s dream medical school is Tufts University, but she appreciates all the avenues that are available to her and where she’ll eventually end up. Although she is unsure of what kind of specialty she’d want to pursue as a doctor, dermatology and cardiology are some standouts. She also hopes to work at a small family practice.
“I think it’s better to have interpersonal connections and especially close connections with the people you’re treating,” Coxen said. “That way you do get the humanities side and just have a broader connection with the community you’re working for rather than just treating someone once and saying ‘see you later’.”
Before she graduates and moves on to medical school, Coxen is making the most out of the time she has left at UMaine.
“I think what really stands out to me about going to UMaine is how dedicated everyone is to ensuring that people are not only succeeding in what they’re doing, but also by guiding them into being the best adult or professional they can be,” Coxen said. “Everyone here genuinely cares.”