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Elizabeth Vargas

Elizabeth Vargas

Graduation Year: 2018

Type of Work: Nursing

Hometown: Chicago

What are your interests/hobbies?
Reading, movies, traveling, eating good food and drinking wine with good friends.

What are your favorite Chicago activities?
Chicago comes alive in the summer -there are always a ton of festivals, free concerts, movies and other outdoor activities that everyone should take advantage of. Chicago also has lots and lots of wonderful restaurants to suit all tastes.

Did you work full time through the program?
I worked full-time during the program. The time commitment was, on average, reasonable. There were definitely some times where things got stressful.  During these more stressful times, it helped to lean on your fellow classmates and just “power through”. And we all made it!

Was time commitment reasonable?
I am currently weighing my options between two different career paths in order to decide what my next career move will be.

Professionally, what are you doing now?
I am currently weighing my options between two different career paths in order to decide what my next career move will be.

Tell us about a “Northwestern moment.” More specifically, was there a moment either in class or otherwise associated with the program where something really clicked for you?
My moment was two-fold. I was constantly pleasantly surprised by my co-hort.  We all came from very different backgrounds, both personally and professionally, but we were all highly committed to improving healthcare for all people -and it was a great feeling to be in a classroom with people that shared the same passion for health equity. But there were inadvertently a few occasions in which some views were shared that were not completely in line with what the majority thought. This served to demonstrate that even the most well-educated and well-meaning people can somehow hold misguided beliefs about healthcare topics and how easy it would be for those with less resources and health literacy to become lost in trying to navigate the healthcare system.

How has the program changed the way you view healthcare?
I think that this program has given me a much more well-rounded perspective of how the healthcare system works, the entities at work behind the scenes, and the extent of the effect that most patients feel. I believe that it has made me a better clinician and a better advocate for patients.

Did you discover anything new or unexpected at Northwestern?
I was surprised at how quickly I felt part of the Northwestern family. I did not expect to feel that the program directors cared about me personally, and yet that is what I felt. Everyone knows you by name, and they are truly invested in your success.