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    Passion To Know Why Leads to Successful Army Career



    Courtesy Story

    3rd Medical Command Deployment Support

    Army Reserve Soldier, Col. Jennifer Marrast Host, discusses how her interest in science and biology shaped her civilian and military career.

    Passion To Know Why
    Before the term STEM became popular, I was simply someone who loved science and biology. I was the one always taking things apart, trying to figure out why and how things work; sometimes good and sometimes bad. 
    What I loved about science and biology was how to figure out why and how things work, this was my passion. When I was in high school I started to do research with Parkinson’s disease because I was curious on what makes the cells of the brain not function properly.
    I carried this curiosity with me when I enrolled at Hunter College, in New York City. While there, I shifted my research to vision; specifically, can you regenerate cells for eyes. My love of research was my primary focus in school. I would get up and go straight to the lab where I was researching retinal cells dissociation. It was a successful balance, graduating with a major in Biology and minor in Chemistry, but my priority was labs first and classes second.
    My intention was to become a biology professor, but one of my professors had taken note of my, “How things work mentality”, and suggested I enroll in medical school. I fought it, I don’t know why, especially since I have family in the medical field, but thankfully relented and was accepted to Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
    Medical School was challenging, I never had a hard time in school prior to med school. At med school, I had to put in the hard work to get what I wanted. After putting in the work and preparing for my residency applications, I wanted to pursue a career in emergency medicine, but was met with a roadblock when my dean suggested I apply for family medicine or pediatrics instead. From the moment I first walked into the ER I knew what I wanted to specialize in. It took weekly meetings to lobby my dean before I convinced her, no matter how hard it might be, this is what I wanted.
    The entire process reminded me of something my parents told me growing up, “It’s better to try and fail than fail to try.” I have carried that with me throughout my life.
    When the results from residency match day were announced, I got my first choice, St, Luke’s-Roosevelt, (Now, Mount Saini West and Morningside) in Manhattan. This was so exciting for me, it took hard work to get through med school, and perseverance to get accepted in emergency medicine.

    Curiosity Did Not End Graduating Medical School
    Shortly after finishing medical school, I received a flyer in my mail box from an Army recruiter. Being first generation military, I knew nothing about the Army, but I was curious and wanted to find out what the Army was all about. I met with a recruiter, signed up and went home that evening telling my husband I joined the Army!
    Not knowing what to expect, I went in with an open mind and loved it from the very beginning. I felt at home as soon as I set foot in the combat support hospital and it has continued for the last 24 years. Earlier in my Army career, I deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq as an emergency Department Physician, it is so gratifying to know my medical training has directly impacted Soldiers’ lives.
    I am now preparing to deploy again, this time as commander of the Theater Enabling Command-Medical, 3d Medical Command (Deployment Support) Forward team to Kuwait. Although I will not be seeing patients, I can provide my team guidance to overcome challenges. Problem solving is still my passion and the skills and experience I have gained over my career from ICU, EMT, and surgery allow me to understand what others on my team are experiencing.
    Throughout my career, I have faced challenges and taken chances to do what I love. I am blessed to combine working for a great employer in Kaiser Permanente and serving in the Army Reserve that allow me to continue to serve and pursue my passion and love for figuring out how things work.



    Date Taken: 09.16.2020
    Date Posted: 09.29.2020 07:55
    Story ID: 379299

    Web Views: 73
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