Rita Snyder from Military Medicine
Rita’s vibrancy permeated throughout our conversation. From the very beginning of the interview, her passions – and her follow-through – defined her experiences.
Dedicated to Service
A second-year from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Rita was contemplating attending art school or pursuing a medical career. Choosing the latter, and based on her exposure to West Point, she decided to pursue military medicine. “I decided on medicine and that military would actually be the best way to do that, based on the patient population, who we get to serve, and the incredible opportunities and advancements. I thought it would be exciting and rewarding, and the idea of being a part of something much bigger than myself was also appealing.”
She recalled visiting her brother at West Point, and how she “loved the camaraderie, the realness of it. And how everyone there believed in something and was willing to sacrifice for it.”
A large part of her decision to attend Georgetown was “because it is so military-friendly.” During her interview, she saw how Georgetown embodied many of the ideals hallmarked by the military - selfless public service and sacrifice. Rita found the campus captivating. “Georgetown was about the things that really mattered. It was all about the mission, all about the patient, all about the purpose,” she said.
With her spare time between courses and study sessions, Rita serves as president of the Military Medicine Interest Group. “We want to enable people to know who each other are, to know who else is in the military,” she mentioned. She stated her goals are to facilitate mentorship and camaraderie within and between classes. She also hopes to organize events which remind those going into military medicine what their future mission will be - providing top-quality medical care to service-members, past and present, and their families. The group recently hosted LCDR Mark DeBuse, former Blue Angels flight surgeon, for the annual Ruggle’s Lecture on Military Medicine.
A Georgetown Family
When asked where she draws support from, she responded, “I would not be here if not for my closest friends and also the family structure of Georgetown. They separate us into families from day one,” she said. “It’s ten people from your class that you go through with, all four years. As excited as I am for my future and residency, I am going to miss them so much - I already know this so I’m trying to get the most out of every day here.”
Succeeding through Diversity
In closing, Rita reflected on her understanding of diversity. “I think it’s so important for any group setting, any team, that has a goal, a mission, to have as diverse a group of people as possible. And I don’t think that gets in the way of people getting along; if anything, it makes them tighter because there is a lot of mutual respect and admiration for people who have seen and done things that you couldn’t even imagine.”