Doctor aces exam after having baby
Danielle Farrington aced her US medical exams — less than three months after having her first child.
Dr Farrington notched up a perfect 800 score in the American Board of Internal Medicine certification exam.
The 28-year-old from Paget admitted she was stunned when she got her results.
She said: “I was hoping just to pass. I was shocked.” The pass mark in the exam was 370 and the mean score 475.
Dr Farrington said she now planned to do a two-year fellowship in nephrology — a specialism in kidney disease — before returning to Bermuda with her husband and son.
Dr Farrington gave birth to Owen on June 5 and sat the four to five-hour exam on August 25.
She said her professors warned students that those who experienced a big life event in the run-up to the exam often did not perform as well as others.
Dr Farrington added: “Having a baby is one of the biggest life events.”
She said she started her studies early, practising multiple choice questions. She also spent three-and-a-half weeks in Bermuda so her parents could help look after her son while she studied.
And despite being “quite sleep deprived”, she scored 800.
Dr Farrington has worked as the chief resident at MacNeal Hospital in Chicago since September. She said she had to take a shorter version of the exam every ten years to prove that she had stayed up-to-date with developments in the field.
Dr Farrington would like to open her own practice in Bermuda as a general physician specialising in treating people with kidney problems.
She added: “I’d like to do both — I’d like to have a primary care practice but then also provide speciality nephrology care to patients with kidney disorders.”
Dr Farrington is passionate about primary care, but liked the idea of focusing on a field.
She said: “I find renal physiology the most interesting. I really like acid/base disorders and I’m also interested in autoimmune diseases and there are a lot of autoimmune diseases that affect the kidney.”
Dr Farrington said the specialism tied in with primary care because “when the kidney has problems, the whole body is affected”.
The Bermuda High School graduate was always interested in science at school and biology was a favourite.
She attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and graduated with a bachelor of science in biology with distinction in 2010. She started at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, later that year with a view to moving into paediatrics.
But she realised during her rotation that she preferred internal medicine — the medical speciality dealing with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of adult diseases.
Dr Farrington said: “I realised that although I love children, I don’t really like caring for them in a medical setting.
“I found it more difficult to relate to children than adults and I felt like oftentimes the children didn’t understand that I was trying to help them.
“It was easier to form a strong relationship with adults and so I just enjoyed working with adults more in a medical capacity.”
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