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Raymond Allen, MD, OBGYN, Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist

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What is your current title and role?

Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist: Partner in a private Maternal Fetal Medicine practice in the Southeast.

Where did you grow up?

New York City, New York.

Tell us about your professional (medical, nursing, allied health, etc.) school?

I attended, Stanford Medical School which was both progressive and challenging. There was strong mentoring and support for students from minoritized groups.

Tell us about struggles and challenges in achieving your goal and how you overcame?

As a first generation college student, let alone graduate student, I did not have any family or close family friends to serve as role models. Also, my family could not give me insight into what I was going through based on their past experiences. I worked hard at trying to seek out teachers and professors whose advice I could trust.

Please share with us about your family and your support group?

 I married my wife Lucy at the beginning of my third year of medical school. She has been my main support person for these past 40 years.

Please share a memorable experience from your training that has stayed with you till today.

During an ICU rotation as a senior medical student, I had to apply pressure on a bleeding vein that I had tried to put an internal line into without success in a patient with a blood clotting disorder. The attending on that service told me to remember how scared and bad I felt.    There is a lot of stress and sacrifice that goes with being a doctor; and you have to really love what you do and be committed to taking care of patients.

Please share a highlight from your practice/current role.

I have a consulting practice covering different hospitals with a very diverse mix of patients. My focus is on prenatal diagnosis, so every day is unpredictable and challenging.

What do you like and dislike the most about working in healthcare?

I dislike the inefficiency of electronic medical record systems. I like the gratification I get from helping my patients.

What are three things that you are grateful for?

 My wife and children. My physical and mental health. My God.

What excites you outside medicine?

Travel. Cooking and food.

What advice do you have for students interested in healthcare?

 Do not be afraid to change your career if you are not enjoying what you are doing. Medicine is broad, and there is something that will fit you.

What do you think the student of today needs to be successful in matriculating and graduating from professional school (medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy)

A clear vision of themselves successfully practicing their chosen profession. That is the light you need when things seem overwhelming.

How would you advise or guide students to develop leadership skills, community outreach experience, research opportunities and clinical shadowing?

 Apply for the things you think are out of reach and do not let rejection hold you back. Everyone gets rejected at some point. Never be afraid to ask for help. Always listen carefully to advice; because sometimes it really is good. Always be respectful.

How can we support and guide students to achieve good grades and be successful in standardized exams? 

 We could help them focus on and strengthen their weak spots. I think we all tend to focus too much on our strengths.