Athlete, scholar, nurturer
Kiah Britton lived all over the country growing up because of her father’s job, but it was the two years she spent in the Bahamas in high school that changed her life.
“I’ve always had a passion for helping other people,” she says. “But living in the Bahamas really made me aware of Third World countries and those who are less fortunate. I’ve always wanted to deliver babies, so that is why I decided to become an OB-GYN (obstetrics and gynecology) and serve in a Third World country.”
Kiah, a senior biology/pre-med major and religion minor, said she was able to spend a lot of time talking with doctors while she was in the Bahamas.
“My best friend’s dad was a dentist, so we’d go to the hospital with him if he had to go. My dad had a lot of friends who were doctors, too, and I was able to just go up to the hospital and talk to them. It was something I was drawn to – really, just helping people is what drew me to the medical field.”
This Jan Term, Kiah shadowed an OB-GYN nurse practitioner at the Women’s Health Center of West Georgia Health in LaGrange.
“I’ve been able to see what an OB-GYN does, and it’s just confirmed for me that this is what I want to do.”
She says she’d ultimately like to have a private practice but spend her summers as a medical missionary.
“I have a friend who is a doctor, and he takes off every other summer to go to a Third World country. I’d like to do that – set up a make-shift clinic where women can come and get advice or have their babies delivered. If I can’t do that, I’d work in a hospital for an extended period of time, just to help.”
For right now, she is focusing on finishing her senior year and applying to graduate schools.
“I want to get my master’s in biology and then move on to medical school.”
Kiah also is an orientation team captain and a member of the women’s basketball team. She said she learned about LaGrange College while she was in boarding school in south Florida.
“My basketball coach was good friends with Coach (Mark) Isenhour (Head Women’s Basketball Coach),” Kiah says. “He recommended that I check out the college, and that was all it took.”
She has grown up attending small schools, so a close-knit community was important to her.
“LaGrange really does bring that,” she says. “It’s small but still very diverse, and I love the relationships that I can build with my teachers. They know me by my first name, which is awesome, versus going to a big university where I’d be just a number.”
When Kiah was a sophomore, she went on a mission trip to New Orleans with the Baptist Campus Ministry. What she saw has stayed with her.
“We were in a part of New Orleans that was really hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. We stayed in a church that was still rebuilding its destroyed sanctuary. We helped them with construction, and every night we cooked for the missionaries who were there. In a sense, it felt like we were in a Third World county because of all the damage that was still there. It was incredible to be able to help and minister to people at the same time.”
That experience only strengthened Kiah’s resolve to become a doctor and medical missionary.
“We are so fortunate here in America with the availability of medical services. In Third World countries, people are much less fortunate. They don’t have the medical advantages we have here.
The reward for me would be to help those less fortunate to have healthy babies and healthy lives. That’s all the reward I’d need.”