Undergraduate degree: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, B.S. in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences – Health Diversity; Minor in Spanish Language – Cultural Analysis
Hometown (City, State): Naperville, Illinois
Daryle Howard is a Class of 2025 Osteopathic Medicine student on the Downers Grove Campus.
What inspired you to pursue a healthcare career?
I have always been interested in people. How we act and what makes us tick has always been very intriguing to me. I have always loved sociology and psychology and helping people is always top of mind for me. I also had a certain knack for fixing things. Even if I didn’t know what I was doing, I would always try. These desires to help, learn, and fix led me to the most complicated machine of all – the human being. As long as we have been learning about our bodies and our nature, we still have so much more to learn. That is what captivates me about medicine and osteopathic medicine in particular. I can indulge in my curious side, while also making a positive impact in peoples’ lives. The cherry on top is a career with lifelong learning.
How did your background and history factor into your career choice?
I am a third-generation college student, but I am the first in my family to attend medical school. My parents and brother are in business, my paternal grandmother was a nurse, and my maternal grandmother was a social worker. So, I am not the first in the healthcare arena.
My course of study during undergrad helped me to focus my efforts on the underserved. With many classes in health diversity, equity and disparities are constantly on my mind. The urgency to address these issues was magnified with the pandemic. This encouraged me to also pursue a Master of Public Health at Midwestern University in addition to a medical degree. With my Spanish skills, I can reach often overlooked populations. Also, being a Black woman, and the intersectionality of my education and experiences, allows me to connect with people who are often left behind by the healthcare system and in society overall.
Why did you decide to attend Midwestern University?
I chose Midwestern because I desperately wanted to attend a D.O. school and there was a series of fortunate events that led me here. During my senior year of college, I was contemplating my medical school application and my Uber driver was a current CCOM student. He encouraged me to apply. During my gap years working as a nursing assistant, I met a lot of CCOM alumni in the hospital hallways. Then, I shadowed in the OMM Lab and was hooked. The students and staff I met were extremely welcoming. Finally, Midwestern had the only D.O. school in Illinois and it was close to my home. Everything just seemed to fit, and I saw a future full of opportunity.
What about a Midwestern University education do you want to carry forward in your career?
In my future career as a physician, I want to carry forward the excellence I’ve seen exhibited by my fellow students both inside and outside of the classroom. They inspire me daily with their kindness and their drive to learn and improve the world. I also hope to carry the pride in myself to know that I too can make a real change.
“ In my future career as a physician, I want to carry forward the excellence I’ve seen exhibited by my fellow students both inside and outside of the classroom. They inspire me daily with their kindness and their drive to learn and improve the world. ”Daryle Howard
Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2025