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Class of 2024 Graduate Profile: Brooke Rigot

March 21, 2024
HCOM graduate Brooke Rigot

Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2024 graduate Brooke Rigot is from Oxford, Ohio, but she was born in Hawaii and as part of a military family growing up, she traveled all around the country. She attended The Ohio State University where she received a bachelor's degree in health promotion, nutrition and exercise science.

Q: What was your childhood like? Who were your inspirations? Was there anything critical that happened that brought you to this point in life?

I was really lucky to grow up with two great parents and a sister who is my best friend in the world. My dad works as a CRNA, so he let me start shadowing him in the OR when I was in middle school. I always knew I wanted to be a doctor, so getting that early exposure to medicine only heightened that dream. My parents encouraged me to pursue any career I was called to but prepared me for a career in medicine by instilling a sense of dedication and hard work in me from a young age. 

What led you to medical school?

I always had a fascination for science and a deep need to understand things that didn’t make sense to me (i.e. the human body). Through high school and college, I continued in my quest to understand, and my interests started to expand from the basic sciences to the social and human aspects that are a huge part of medicine. It was clear for many years that I was called to a career in medicine, and I worked as hard as I could to get there.

What was the most impactful experience you had while in medical school?

While in medical school, I always pictured myself in primary care. I loved the broad scope of the specialty as well as the relationships that physicians build with their patients. However, in the winter of my third year, I was assigned an elective rotation in radiology, and everything changed. It felt like my brain had tapped into that excitement and yearning to learn more that I had while growing up. I knew immediately that I was a radiologist, but I struggled deeply with the fear of changing directions from the plan I had been envisioning for years. Thankfully, I had an amazing mentor who knew me before and after I had discovered radiology, and she saw the same thing I did. She encouraged me to take the leap and follow what my gut was telling me to do. I am now so happy that I did and have matched into a radiology residency.

What was the most important lesson you learned while in medical school?

The most important lesson I learned is to keep your eyes open and remain malleable. Medical school is a difficult and draining journey, and it is tempting to just grind through it until you come out the other side. However, if you can stay open, learn as much as you possibly can, listen to yourself and try to enjoy the growth you have each day, you will come out the other side matching into the career you are absolutely meant to be in and will be able to appreciate how far you have come. 

Were you involved in research? If so, could you share more about what you worked on?

I was involved in the RSAF program the summer after first year and did research on how Appalachian culture impacts diabetes care using virtual reality technology with Dr. Elizabeth Beverly. We were able to publish a research paper in JMIR, and I presented a poster at the Ohio Rural Health Conference. I was also involved in a quality improvement project with Dr. Valerie Good at Adena Health System where we worked on a protocol for pre- and post-op pain for patients with Opiate Use Disorder.  

What are you most excited about for your future?

I am most excited to begin residency in Dayton, Ohio! I will be completing my transitional year and diagnostic radiology residency at Kettering Health. I am also excited about possibly buying a house and getting to live near both sets of my grandparents in Dayton!

Who has helped you along the way? Is there anyone you want to recognize?

So many people have impacted my journey to get here, and I am so grateful to all of them.  I would thank my eight grade math teacher for being the first outsider to tell me that I had what it takes to be whatever I wanted to be; all of my friends for encouraging me at every turn; my family for being a backbone of support; my partner, Matt, for knowing exactly what to do or say when I had a tough day; and all of my mentors (Dr. Good, Dr. Borland, Dr. Carrle, Dr. Mong, and Dr. Ngalle) for guiding me along the way. 

How do you like to spend your free time?

I like to spend my free time exploring historic neighborhoods, taking long walks, trying new restaurants and coffee shops. I also like to spend time with my family and friends, and, of course, my two orange cats. I also like to exercise, kayak, read and cook!