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While pursuing her medical degree, Burish also completed a master of public health degree at Harvard Medical School, which she thinks will bring depth and strength to many areas of her career.After she graduates from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, she'll begin a plastic surgery residency at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Until recently, Burish thought she would pursue an orthopedics specialty.
“I enjoy the breadth, diversity and impact of plastic and reconstructive surgery,” she explains.
“In that rotation, one surgical procedure seemed even more interesting than the last,” she says.
“I was excited about every day because the patients were so grateful, and the whole staff seemed happy.
That’s what medicine is all about.” Burish also has been heavily involved in several other activities, including the Healthy Classrooms Foundation, a nonprofit group run by students that provides grants for school programs to help make classrooms a healthier place to learn.
More from Quarterly Quarterly Magazine Related News Medical Students Learn Residency Locations at Match Day Former Badger Hockey Player Finds Out Residency Location (NBC 15, Madison) Follow Us UWSMPH on Twitter UWSMPH on Facebook UWSMPH on You Tube UWSMPH on Flickr A broken femur is an unusual reason to change careers, but for fourth-year medical student Nikki Burish, it was a game changer.
When she broke her leg, Burish was in her first undergraduate year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was studying economics and competing for the Badger Women’s Hockey Team.
During her hospitalization to repair the bone, she started to picture herself as a physician.
“That was my first exposure to medicine,” she explains.
“When I was in the hospital, I was interested in everything that was going on around me.” Yet, following her recovery, the demands of balancing her studies while attending hockey practices and playing more than 30 games per year made it impossible for Burish to revamp her class schedule to pursue medicine.
“I was traveling so much to play hockey that my advisors told me a premedical curriculum was not an option,” she says.
“However, medicine was something that I couldn’t stop thinking about.” Burish completed her undergraduate degree in economics and captained the hockey team to a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title in 2006.
She started working for an international business firm in Australia and playing professional hockey in Switzerland, but then decided to return to UW-Madison, where she took premedical courses for two years before entering the UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) in 2009.