While completing her internal medicine clinical rotation in spring 2013, Lincey Alexida ’16 was consumed with the typical concerns of a busy second-year medical student: balancing days at a clinic and nights at a hospital, and studying for her licensing exams.
In between seeing patients and filling out medical charts at a private primary care clinic in Palos Heights, Illinois, Alexida and her mentor often discussed the challenges of operating a private practice, one of Alexida’s goals. “He asked simple questions like, ‘What do you know about the current healthcare bill?’ ” Alexida says. “I didn’t really know anything.”
It was then that she realized it would take more than medical knowledge to open her own practice. “With my MD, I would know how to treat people,” she says. “But I realized there was no way I could properly run my own practice without a business education.”
Eight weeks into her 12-week rotation, she contacted Walden to enroll in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. Taking one course at a time, Alexida took about a year longer to complete her MBA than Walden’s average time to completion, but with a medical school workload, she considers her June 2016 graduation a great accomplishment.
“Colleagues who saw me go through all the extra work didn’t understand why,” she says. “They’d say, ‘You’re a medical doctor. Why do you need an MBA?’ ”
But Alexida found her confidence improved in more than just business practices. “Before I earned my MBA, I was hesitant in writing, presenting, or even speaking English because it is my third language,” says the Haitian immigrant, who spoke only Creole and French when she moved to the U.S. at 14. “Thanks to my MBA, I became a great writer and a great listener, and I have more confidence.”
Earning her MBA ignited a new passion, too: clinical research. Since late 2016, Alexida has published three articles as a first author, including a case report on large B-cell lymphoma in Consultant, an independent, peer-reviewed journal for primary care clinicians. “To see that I’m already reaping the benefits makes me feel like I made the right choice,” she says.
Alexida has put her well-rounded skills to use serving the Haitian community in Boston as an approachable expert on issues ranging from healthcare to taxes to immigration papers. “There are a lot of people with chronic conditions who don’t really understand them,” she says.
To help, she creates simple brochures on health topics in French and Creole, and her mother passes them out at church. “I put my e-mail on there, and they reach out to me with personal questions,” she says. “It makes a big difference.”
Alexida is nearing the end of her medical school journey—she plans on graduating from Saint James School of Medicine with her Doctor of Medicine in May—but she’s made it her mission to never stop learning. She is now pursuing her MS in Clinical Research Administration at Walden and has dreams of becoming a research scientist.
“Broadening your horizons is always a good thing,” Alexida says. “When you are well-rounded, you are more valuable in any field.”