The A-ha Moment
Carrie Miller credits the support of the CA community and the leadership skills she developed during her time as a student with giving her the confidence she needed to strike out beyond her comfort zone to find the perfect college. “I knew I wanted to try something new, to explore a different part of the country, to try out an entirely different environment than what I was used to,” explains Miller.
She initially thought that she’d find that experience in a mid-size university in New England. It was only on the last-minute advice of favorite English teacher Sunny McDaniels (herself a Bowdoin alum) that she added Bowdoin College—a small liberal arts school on the coast of Maine—to her list.
“As soon as I walked onto the Bowdoin campus, I knew that this was the place. I felt so comfortable, so at home; everyone was so friendly. I loved the classes, the sunny days, the coastal campus, the engaged faculty, the intensely loyal alumni network” reflects Miller. “I’d always heard people talk about this intangible feeling you get when you find the school that’s the right fit. I never bought into that idea, never thought it would happen to me, until it did.”
On joining the student body, Miller immersed herself in campus life—moving into one of the social houses, joining the women’s rugby team, even working in the admissions office, first as a tour guide, and, later, as an applicant interviewer (a role she continues to enjoy as an alum).
Unsure of a major, she used her first semester to explore her myriad interests across gender studies, sociology, French, and science. “I wanted to take that first semester to just enjoy being at Bowdoin, to let myself be excited and inspired by all the possibilities,” explains Miller.
The next semesters saw Miller focus in on a career in women’s health, as she pursued pre-med prerequisites alongside classes for an interdisciplinary women studies major.
A culturally immersive semester-long study abroad in Botswana—during which Miller lived with a host family, studied the local language, completed coursework in HIV and public health, all while shadowing two days a week in the local healthcare clinic—proved to be transformative, triggering an interest in obstetrics and gynecology.
After graduating Bowdoin in 2008, Miller moved to Boston, taking a position within a child psychiatry research office from which she was able to explore a variety of roles within healthcare. Realizing that she valued the patient-doctor relationship above all else, she enrolled in Harvard’s post-baccalaureate program to complete a handful of remaining classes required for medical school admission and took the MCAT—all while working full-time.
Miller was admitted to the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 and started an OBGYN residency at Penn in 2015. She graduated in June 2019 and will soon be moving to Minnesota with her husband (a fellow doctor and Bowdoin alum) and young daughter, where she has accepted a position within a local hospital system.