Madeleine Wolfe made the journey to Clemson from Massachusetts seeking to help others. But she was torn about the exact career path she wanted to take. Maddie leaned on the Clemson community to find her passion. As she crosses the stage to complete her degree in language and international health, she has her sights set on her next steps: medical school.
Maddie knew the health care field was for her. She first explored options on campus with Clemson’s cybersecurity club, partly to see if she would enjoy working in health care systems. What she eventually realized, however, was she was missing the relationship-building and face-to-face interaction. So, she took advice from her emergency physician mother and found ways to get involved. This led her earn her EMS certification so she could work with the Clemson University Fire Department.
“I started getting back involved with my community,” Maddie says. “I worked with a lot of different individuals to kind of figure out what role exactly I wanted to play.”
To further explore how she could help those around her, Maddie then turned to Clemson Rural Health. Maddie’s research centered on understanding the impact of prescription produce on health outcomes in patients living with or at risk for diabetes. It’s that experience that helped Maddie understand, first-hand, how she can influence health care in a community she has come to call home.
“Three out of the top-five national causes of death are chronic, non-communicable diseases. These hit rural areas in significant, ways, and they’re inherently more difficult to address,” she said.
As she plans for medical school, Maddie’s focus lies in academic research and patient care. She recognizes that different health disparities impact different populations, and she plans to find ways to apply her experiences and interests.
Maddie remains active in cybersecurity, and while she’s focused her technology interest on health care needs, she also finds ways through research, jobs and volunteering to continue growing. She plans to keep helping Clemson Rural Health and to work as an EMT with Prisma in order to have hands-on experience in patient health care, even as she prepares for medical school.
“My passion isn’t just emergency medicine. It’s specifically emergency medicine in these rural areas because health disparities are growing every single day,” Maddie says. “I want to be a leader in reducing these health disparities.”
Maddie didn’t picture herself being so involved in helping rural communities when she arrived at Clemson, but she sees things much more clearly now. Whether it be studying abroad in Argentina or working with the Clemson Fire Department at football games as an EMT, Maddie is and always will be involved in the betterment of her community.