Arizona mother of nine, Sarah Merrill, recently graduated from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Phoenix, Arizona, and is set to begin her neurosurgery residency at Indiana University next month. Now 41, Merrill started her journey to medicine when she was a 17-year-old at Dartmouth College as a pre-med major. It was there that she met her husband and they had her first child.
Merrill initially planned to go straight into medical school but decided to put her schooling on hold to become a stay-at-home mom while her first daughter was young. Over the years, she and her husband expanded their family to nine children. Merrill never gave up on wanting to go into medicine and worked part-time in medical research. And then when her youngest child was two, she decided to go back to school.
Her family, including her mother, made the move together from Pennsylvania to Arizona so Merrill could attend medical school. At first, she thought she might just get her master’s degree, but decided to go all-in and follow her original dream of getting a degree in medicine. She encourages other women to not give up on their dreams and to "set the goals that are what you're really passionate about," and focus on each step to achieve them.