Cascade High’s Brooke Guidice sets sights on career in medicine

EVERETT — Brooke Guidice, 18, a senior at Cascade High School, is a straight-A student taking five Advanced Placement classes this year, recently took part in a summer internship at Johns Hopkins University, where she hopes to study medicine to become a doctor, and even auditioned for “American Idol” this summer.

Question: Why did you decide to become a doctor?

Answer: Kind of my whole life I’ve enjoyed caring for people and I’ve never been scared or nervous around blood. I love medicine. It’s just been a total passion for it. I have a few doctors in my family, and I’ve been able to shadow them, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Most recently, I’ve decided to go into trauma surgery because it’s exciting and new every day.

Q: Who else in your family works in medicine?

A: My second cousin, he’s a family practitioner. And I have an extended cousin who works for UW Medicine. My cousin set up an opportunity to shadow under Dr. Doug Opel at UW Pediatrics. Over six weeks last summer I was there and I got to follow him into patients’ rooms and assess the injuries of the little ones and take notes.

Q: What did you learn from that experience?

A: It kind of showed me that I didn’t want to do any clinic work, but it was really awesome to be there in the scene and behind the scenes, and the doctor’s connection with kids was awesome. It solidified that I wanted to go into medicine.

Q: Tell me a bit about the two-week internship you did last summer at Johns Hopkins.

A: It was incredible. I studied behavioral neuroscience and we learned about the relationships between mothers and babies and how they interact and the process of babies’ learning.

It was really cool because I got to live in the dorms on campus and use all the facilities. It was awesome to be in a college classroom. It was so different from high school and it was an amazing experience. I’m also applying to Stanford, University of Pennsylvania and a few other schools in California and the University of Washington as well. But Johns Hopkins is my number one choice.

Q: How did you come to audition for “American Idol” this summer?

A: I’ve been singing since I was three years old, and sing for weddings and funerals. I also lead worship for Young Life and for church functions. It’s my passion. I tried out for the Seattle auditions. There were probably 1,500 people who tried out that day. I sang for two of the producers and I sang “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” from “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” I don’t know if anyone from Seattle made it to the next level, but it was an amazing experience. I’ve always dreamed of singing on the show, so it was a dream come true.

Q: With so much on your plate, how did you develop good study habits and become a straight-A student?

A: I think a big part of it is just priorities. For me it’s always been God first, family second and everything else follows. Just making a schedule for myself on a daily basis, how many hours can I practice, how many hours between school and cheerleading when I can do homework. I don’t sleep much but it’s all worth it. Also being aware of how I’m doing, asking teachers for extra help when I need it.

Q: What are your favorite subjects?

A: Definitely science is probably my strongest subject, and Spanish and English. I love science and I have a huge passion for Spanish because I want to be bilingual some day, and I want to major or minor in Spanish in college along with pre-med.

Q: You’ve had the opportunity to travel a bit. How have you enjoyed that?

A: I just love seeing the difference between people and different customs. Especially when I went to Europe and Israel, seeing all the history in real life, it was just amazing. I just love learning about other cultures, and seeing the beauty in other parts of the world. On my mission trip to Rancho De Sus Niños near Tecate, Mexico — I’ve done that three times now — it’s crazy, they live in a poor part of Mexico but they’re willing to give everything to others. I served as a summer staff intern working at the orphanage as an activities coordinator and as an assistant trip coordinator for other missionary teams. I also served as a lifeguard, mentor, and English teacher for the kids.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

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