Alumna Profile: Kristen (Scislow) Budahn


Medical school student at the University of Minnesota and in rotation at Glencoe Regional Medical Center


(From the March 2011 issue of the Bethany Report)
By Lance Schwartz | Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Like many other five-year-olds, Kristen (Scislow) Budahn wanted to be a doctor when she grew up. 

Budahn, a 2008 Bethany graduate, who is now in her third year of medical school at the University of Minnesota, recalled watching Jane Seymour portray a rural west doctor of the nineteenth century in the television series Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman. It was a love for helping others and her experience watching Doctor Quinn that convinced Kristen being a physician was what her future had in store. Kristen came to Bethany with that goal in mind and planned her academic program with the intent of preparing herself for medical school. 

Kristen was Bethany Lutheran College’s first bachelor’s degree recipient to be accepted into medical school. And while she acknowledges the rigors of medical school are challenging, it was her Bethany experience that she says provided a strong foundation for medical school curriculum. 

“All of my [Bethany] professors were willing to sit down and help me through the application process to medical school,” noted Budahn. 

“I really had a great experience with the science department at Bethany, the professors all have different strengths.” 

Professor Chad Heins, expects a lot from his students, and consequently helped Kristen to reach her goals. 

“His teaching and grading really helped me to be prepared for medical school and cadaver dissection in anatomy class with Dr. Kuster made my first semester anatomy class in medical school go much smoother,” said Budahn. 

And while she still knew medical school was her ultimate goal, after graduating from Bethany she took a year off from school. During that year, she taught algebra, geometry, and pre-calculus at a bilingual school in the Dominican Republic. Not only was this experience rewarding, it was something that helped to set her apart from other medical school candidates, a key factor in the medical school application process. 

In fact, extracurricular and co-curricular experiences are an important factor for medical school applicants and Kristen took full advantage of those opportunities during her time on the Bethany campus. She participated in varsity soccer and also studied abroad in Ecuador. 

Kristen is now in the middle of a nine-month rotation with the University of Minnesota Rural Physician Associate Program at the Glencoe (Minnesota) Regional Medical Center. 

She chose this program over others because it offered her the ability to establish longer, continuous-care relationships with patients as opposed to interning at a number of different hospitals and clinics. 

Kristen’s ultimate goal is to work in family medicine where she will be able to pursue an interest in obstetrics. She also prefers family medicine because of the opportunity to continue care with both the babies and mothers as a primary care physician. 

Her experience at the Glencoe Regional Medical Center has also helped her to realize that a rural setting might be in her future as well, although she says it “can’t be too small” as her husband, Bryan, is a mechanical engineer and hopes to be employed as well. 

Wherever her career takes her, Kristen believes it is really in God’s hands. Faith is important to her and Bryan and she recalls Bethany’s Christian focus as the foundation for her decision to attend in the first place. 

“Attending chapel every day at Bethany was a huge blessing and one of the things I miss the most,” she continued, “It was nice to have friends [at Bethany] who shared similar values—it makes those college years a little easier. It was really nice to have that Christian atmosphere throughout all aspects of life at Bethany.” 

We wish Kristen (Scislow) Budahn all the best as she continues her preparation for a career as a physician.