Meet Dr. Chelsea Arnhart, nutritional sciences alumna
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
Media Contact: Katie Lacey | Communications Specialist | 405-744-9347 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Chelsea Arnhart, D.O., is a 2017 nutritional sciences graduate and current resident-in-training at Oklahoma State University Pediatrics.
Upon completion of her residency, she hopes to stay in the OSU Pediatrics system and continue working with children. Dr. Arnhart shared more about her OSU experience, residency and future goals below:
How would you describe the OSU experience?
Oklahoma State is home. It’s a comfortable setting to grow. It’s a place where you are supported in whatever ventures you choose to pursue. It’s where the word 'community' actually means something. It wasn't until I was a part of OSU that I realized how far the community extends and how truly big and welcoming the heart is at the core of that community.
How has OSU’s nutritional sciences program prepared and equipped you for success?
Food is the basis of existence and can make such a tremendous impact on a person's health and overall life. What you eat truly affects how you feel, and I would not have gotten through the difficult process of becoming a doctor without a healthy diet. Having a background in nutritional sciences gave me the tools to better understand research, physiology and pathophysiology during medical school. And now, it allows me to discuss healthy habits and foods with patients and families. Also, my minor in child development has been incredibly useful in my career as a pediatrician. All of these things have contributed to my academic success as well as my personal health and well-being.
What would you say is your passion? What is your purpose?
I have numerous passions and a wide range of purposes. That was one of the beauties of having a variety of opportunities available at OSU. I have always loved working with children and during my first semester, I took a class called Human Lifespan Development and discovered I adored learning about all the aspects of these tiny humans and their journey to adulthood. Throughout my nutrition and child development classes, connections were continually established on the impact these aspects have on each other. My freshman or sophomore year, I stumbled into a club meeting about an opportunity to travel to Honduras for a medical mission trip. I signed up without hesitation and became enamored with how much I could learn about medicine and different cultures as well as different countries' approaches to healthcare. This passion persisted throughout medical school, with a total of five trips and counting. The experience also drove me to pursue my master’s in global health. Personally, I am a first generation college student and the first of anyone I knew previously who had gone to medical or any graduate school. The process of going to college and becoming a doctor is really complicated and confusing. I actively try to demystify the processes and educate people throughout their academic journey. Lastly, pediatrics reveals a lot of social issues facing children and Oklahoma families on a daily basis, including healthcare and other issues. I strive to be an advocate for change to better support Oklahomans at every level of society.
After completing your residency, what are your career goals?
Ultimately, I would love to continue to work within the OSU Pediatrics system. I enjoy all of the settings in which we work — children's hospital, pediatric clinic and the newborn nursery. I would like to continue to work in all of those areas. I also find myself drawn to teaching and mentoring, both of which are already a large part of pediatrics in general, but particularly in an academic setting such as a residency program. I also hope to continue to advocate for children and families in healthcare settings as well as at the state legislative and infrastructural levels.
What would you say to donors in the college who support our students, faculty, staff and programs?
Scholarships really made medical school possible for me. Between receiving scholarships and working three part-time jobs, I was able to graduate with my bachelor's degree entirely debt free. So, thank you to the donors who have made education for myself and people like me possible; the help you provide is invaluable to countless students. Your contribution makes education more attainable and benefits innumerable students who would not otherwise have such an opportunity.