A daughter of the CNMI on the rise in field of medicine
Stepping closer to her goals, a CNMI homegrown academic standout, Ageline Sahagun, is on track to receive her medical degree from the Weill Medical College at the Cornell University in New York next year.
This was learned after the University of Guam announced early this year that five individuals from their Class of 2017 were approaching the end of their medical school journey, and the beginning of their careers in the medical field.
During an interview with the University of Guam that was later issued as a news release, Sahagun, along with four other UOG alumni, shared her goals and the driving force behind her ambition in the medical field. For Sahagun, it was personal, like so many others in her field.
“I was born and raised [on] Saipan, where both my mom and dad had been diagnosed with cancer in two separate instances,” she said. “As my family experienced these hardships, it became apparent to me the vast need for more doctors, both general practice and specialized, in the Pacific Islands.”
When asked of her future plans, she said, “I am planning to apply to combined pediatrics–emergency medicine residencies. With this combined program, I will be board-certified in both pediatrics and emergency medicine and will have the flexibility of caring for adult patients if needed. […] I believe my role for the future is to become a potential uniting force for partnerships with medical schools and UOG. I want to make it easier for students from Guam and the CNMI to make their dreams a reality.”
As part of UOG’s Class of 2017, Sahagun spoke well of her experience at the university, highlighting the chemistry among her biology cohorts. “I believe what motivated many in my cohort was the friendship and tight-knit sense of community that could only develop at a small school like ours. It never felt like we were competing with each other; we never hesitated to lend out a helping hand or to share resources. …We would encourage and check up on each other while studying for the MCAT [Medical College Admission Test], while preparing for interviews, and we confided in each other’s rejections and acceptances as well,” she said.
The UOG news release noted that 17% of the individuals involved in the cohort, including Sahagun, are currently in medical school.
In her early years, Sahagun had topped all her classes; from her time in Garapan Elementary School, to her brief years at Hopwood Junior High School, and finally leading Marianas High School’s graduating class in 2012 as class valedictorian. She continued her college studies at the University of Guam and graduated with summa cum laude honors in 2017, with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. Sahagun is set to complete her medical studies in May next year.