Doctor’s Orders: Yale School of Medicine for alumna Evgeniya Tyrtova

By Kenna Caprio

METROPOLITAN (August 7, 2014) — She’s already assisted a surgeon at a specialized oncology hospital in Russia, comforted patients in the emergency department of CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, N.J., and shadowed a physician at an urgent care facility in Bedford, Va.

Now Evgeniya Tyrtova, BS’12 (Metro) makes it official: her next stop is Yale School of Medicine.

“I was always fascinated with the intricate yet fragile mechanisms of the human body,” says Mrs. Tyrtova. “Although we’ve studied it for thousands of years, the human body still houses nearly as many mysteries as the depths of the ocean or the cosmos. I’m eager to solve them.”

Evgeniya Tyrtova

At Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Metropolitan Campus in Teaneck, N.J., she majored in nursing and minored in science, giving her a well-rounded knowledge base in natural science and pre-medicine.

The University’s emphasis on global education drew her in — as a high school exchange student from Omsk, Russia, a city in Siberia, she experienced diversity and appreciated the American “melting pot” firsthand.

“During my years at FDU, I met people from many countries and cultures. I appreciate that the curriculum design at FDU encourages students to apply acquired knowledge in a global way,” Mrs. Tyrtova says.

She says she feels ready for the rigor of Yale because of the preparation she received at FDU. Faculty from across disciplines — including biology, chemistry, nursing and calculus — offered her support, education and opportunity.

“My nursing clinicals provided me with an insider look at the everyday realities of hospital operations and gave me an opportunity to have direct patient contact,” Mrs. Tyrtova says.

Studying nursing on her path to becoming a doctor afforded Mrs. Tyrtova a clear understanding of both roles.

“I was looking forward to receiving clinical exposure before starting medical school and making sure that medicine is something that I want to devote myself to. Nursing gave me a deep insight into patients’ needs, dynamics of interaction between patients and different members of the healthcare team, and issues that the modern healthcare system faces currently,” she says.

She learned to think analytically through class, clinical and research, embracing both the scientific rigor and compassion necessary in the medical field. In her research, Mrs. Tyrtova “explored the dynamics and kinetics of protein encapsulation in chitosan nanoparticles.” She realized then that “science, including medicine, is full of uncertainties. It relies on empirical methods as much as on scientific ones.”

Beyond academics, Mrs. Tyrtova fenced epee for the Knights Division I women’s team, served as an international orientation leader and worked part-time as a hall security assistant in the residence halls for the Office of Public Safety. She also volunteered at Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps (TVAC).

“Volunteering was an important reminder for me that medicine does not just revolve around modern technologies and cutting edge research,” she says. “I believe that any doctor is able to bring a positive difference through excellence in clinical care, compassion and diligence.”

At Yale, she expects to build upon the critical thinking skills she developed at FDU.

Yale’s educational philosophy suits Mrs. Tyrtova for the next phase of her education, she says — especially the School of Medicine’s “values of mature self-learning, responsibility and thoughtful discovery. That perfectly matches my learning style.” She is looking forward to embracing the flexible curriculum, anonymous exams and mandatory thesis on original research that Yale requires. Classes start in late August.

So far, “the transition from FDU to Yale feels very smooth to me. FDU’s curriculum allowed me to pursue a variety of enriching experiences that shaped me as a person and medical professional, and gave me the mindset of an independent learner,” Mrs. Tyrtova says.

“As a healthcare professional you frequently encounter thought-provoking and even controversial situations that oblige you to modify your way of thinking. Medicine is a lifetime of learning and that’s something that thrills me the most.”