BERLIN — Stephen Decatur advanced placement biology and bio-med students last week got a rare first-hand glimpse at how their hard work and perseverance could pay dividends when two alumni who are now working medical professionals returned to their alma mater.
Dr. Tammy Donoway, who graduated in 1999 and Jordan Braniff, who graduated in 2004, last week visited the advanced placement (AP) biology and bio-med students for a presentation on their successful paths from Decatur to medical degrees to ultimately returning to serve in the communities from whence they came. Donoway is currently a Family Practice physician at Peninsula Regional Family Medicine in Ocean Pines, while Braniff works as her nurse practitioner.
Decatur AP Biology teachers Jim Krall and Rebecca Kalchthaler hosted the presentation with a packed room of students eager to learn about Donoway’s and Braniff’s journeys in becoming successful healthcare professionals. Students gained a unique perspective on the rigorous course work involved, the demands of residency hours required and an overall feeling of how gratifying a career in the medical field can be, according to Krall.
“Donoway and Braniff shared both the highs and lows of their careers as well as enlightening stories of what a typical day in the life of a doctor involves,” he said. “Most noteworthy in their presentation was their mutual desire to come back to the shore and serve in the community in which they grew up.”
For years, it has been no secret many of Worcester County’s brightest and best go away to college and don’t return to start their careers because of a lack of meaningful, well-paying jobs on the shore. That has changed somewhat in recent years with the ever-growing medical campuses in Berlin, Ocean Pines and around the north end of Worcester County. Krall said the students during last week’s presentation likely got a glimpse of the potential path to get a medical degree and the growing opportunities to return to their home communities.
“It was apparent throughout their presentations that they thoroughly enjoy their careers, which had a very positive impact on the students in the room,” said Krall. “Stephen Decatur High School is very proud of their success and thankful that they took time out of their busy schedules to inspire the possible health care leaders of tomorrow.”