From Gymnastics to a Future in Family Medicine

What do floor routines and vault exercises have to do with a future career in medicine? Before discovering a passion for family medicine, Amythest Gauthier (pronounced Goth-e-air), a fourth-year student in the College of Medicine, found her first love in gymnastics, despite being marginally taller than the average gymnast. After graduating from high school, Gauthier decided it was time to trade in her leotard for a white coat, and enrolled in Youngstown State University’s BS/MD program.

It didn’t take Gauthier long to find a place to belong at NEOMED, where she had nearly 80 campus organizations—from the American Academy of Family Physicians-Family Medicine Interest Group (AAFP-FMIG) to the I Love Ice Cream Club (ILICC)—to choose from. As a first-year student, she became involved with the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), where she served as the group’s vice president and organized a community health fair.

Most recently, Gauthier found a niche with OutReach: Northeast Ohio’s Student Outreach to the Underserved and its Student Outreach to the Area Residents (SOAR) student-run free clinic for the medically underserved. Gauthier served as the clinic’s Student Chief for the month of September, a responsibility that fourth-year medicine students trade off throughout the year. She was responsible for such tasks as ensuring that lab orders were entered properly, reporting lab results, scheduling follow-up visits, and enrolling or screening new patients.

With all of that, Gauthier also finds time to hold various leadership and membership positions throughout the University. Between classes, studying and rotations, Gauthier squeezes in Student Conduct and Committee on Academic Progress and Professionalism (CAPP) meetings, a subset of the Student Conduct Council. She is helping NEOMED to prepare for Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) reaccreditation through the Student Impact Committee. In addition, she has helped get ready for suicide awareness events on campus this fall, as a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.   

“I appreciate NEOMED’s environment—the community feel and awareness. We have so many opportunities to reach out to the community and that really makes this place fantastic,” Gauthier says.

As a former Penguin, Gauthier has been excited to return to Mercy Health-St. Elizabeth Youngstown (Ohio) Hospital—a place she calls "near and dear to the heart"—for her current rotation, following one in Family Medicine at the hospital earlier this year. 

Gauthier’s career in gymnastics may be a memory now, but the determination and dedication she learned through the sport serve her well as she prepares for her future in family medicine.

Amythest Gauthier

“We have so many opportunities to reach out to the community and that really makes this place fantastic.’’—Amythest Gauthier (M4)

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