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Alex Van Cleave

Alex stayed at Creighton for medical school because she knew it would help her grow as a person while learning to become a doctor.

Alex Van Cleave came to Creighton as an undergraduate student, and now she has joined the inaugural class of the Arrupe Global Scholars Program

The program focuses on health equity and awards both Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees in five years. Here’s what Van Cleave had to say about Creighton and the program.

What brought you to Creighton?

  • I wanted to stay at Creighton because I know that I will be a member of a community that will support me through all the ups and downs. 

What made you want to get into medicine?

  • I came into medicine because it allowed me to combine my love for learning, my interest in the human body, investigation skills and strong interpersonal relationships.

What has your experience in the Arrupe Global Scholars Program been like so far? 

  • My experience in this program so far has been amazing. We have focused so much on what we call the ministry of presence, which allows others to share their stories and experiences while we learn from them. It reminds me of the benefits that are possible of just being present and in the moment with other people. There is such a beauty in cherishing each moment that you are with other people and be fully in the moment with them.

Can you tell us what you did during your two-week orientation in the Dominican Republic? 

  • I spent two nights in a family’s house, and it was such a cool experience for me because I got to practice my Spanish skills and simply be present with the family. I spent the nights playing with the kids, and there was so much joy and laughter just filling the house. It was a joy-filling experience. This trip also reminded me of the importance of slowing down and listening because it allows the stories to be shared. I loved the experiences in the Dominican Republic because I was able to gain a brief glimpse into their lives.

What are your long-term career goals?

  • I want to create an environment where all my patients feel heard. I am hoping to go into a field where I can build long-term relationships with patients and act as a true advocate throughout their journey both of healthcare and life.