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Victoria Stout

Student Spotlight: Victoria Stout, Health Psychology

  • Victoria Stout, a student in the MCPHS Bachelor of Science in Health Psychology program, is determined to help improve the way that invisible illnesses are treated not just in her own community, but on a global scale.

    But, Victoria didn’t always know that health psychology was her calling. When she first came to MCPHS, she was certain that she wanted to help others—she just wasn’t sure which program would best fit her interests and long-term goals.

    “Originally, I wanted to be a premed minor,” says Victoria, “But over my four years here, I learned what a clinical psychologist does and found my passion.”

    Now actively pursuing her Doctor of Clinical Psychology (PsyD) through MCPHS’s partnership program with William James College, she plans on using her undergraduate education and doctorate degree to work with underserved populations.

    “Mental health is an area of healthcare that needs to be improved. I want to make a difference in the lives of each of my patients, and hopefully make some bigger changes that impact all of healthcare, too.”

    And as Victoria looks toward earning her PsyD and making her dreams a reality, she hopes that her academic journey shows incoming students that finding your path sometimes requires stepping out of your comfort zone.

    “It’s okay to change your mind. I’ve changed my mind about my future career a few times while I’ve been here, and I’ve fallen into something I love. Don’t be afraid to explore new opportunities.”

    We sat down with Victoria to hear more about her experience in MCPHS’s unique health psychology program.

    Why did you choose MCPHS?

    I wanted a healthcare-driven school where I would be surrounded by like-minded people: students who wanted to be in similar fields, study similar things, and work hard together.

    Also, I love that we’re a small campus in a big city. I’m from Salem, Massachusetts and I wanted to stay close to home, and Boston is a local city that has so much to offer in terms of healthcare. From the very first visit to MCPHS, I knew that this is where I belong and where I want to be.

    Tell us a little about your program.

    Over the past four years, I have learned from amazing professors, had life-changing experiences, and grown into a professional. I have been attended seminars, created 5-year plans, participated in a field placement, and more. My courses have prepared me for my future career, and the professors and faculty have supported me every step of the way. My professors take an interest in my future career goals and care about what they can do to help me achieve them.

    It sounds like your program’s faculty create a supportive learning environment.

    Yes! The faculty at MCPHS help students become successful both inside and outside of the classroom. Our classes are small, so you’ll frequently get to see the same professors. That helps facilitate success because I’m not afraid of sitting in their office and asking for help in their courses. In terms of help outside of the classroom, our professors stress the importance of networking right away. That includes networking with them to see what they have to offer us outside of their classrooms, in professional settings.

    Additionally, our program is run by a director who cares about her students. That’s a big part of why this program is as amazing as it is.

    Outside of your health psychology curriculum, do you ever interact with students from other majors?

    I collaborate with students in other majors by being a Senior Peer Mentor. As a Senior Peer Mentor, I’m responsible for a cohort of 11 other Peer Mentors and I’m also mentoring a class of health psychology freshmen.

    I also collaborate with other students in the classroom. For example, there is an elective course that health psychology students and MRI students take together. This course is used to teach health psychology students what it’s like to be an MRI technician. The MRI students, in turn, learn how to create a better overall MRI experience for their patients.

    Your experience with interprofessional collaboration should help you navigate the ins-and-outs of the modern, team-based healthcare system. In what other ways has your MCPHS education prepared you for post-grad life?

    Because of this health psychology program, I’m ready for my graduate school applications. The classes that we take during our four years here set us apart from other programs, prepare us for graduate school, and make us competitive applicants. For example, courses like Biostatics and Research Methods are what most graduate school programs start out teaching, and I’ve already taken them here at MCPHS.

    Overall, this program, along with the entire school, has a professional vibe that sets everyone up to succeed in the future as a professional.

    Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) offers 100-plus degree programs that empower the next generation of healthcare professionals and provides interprofessional educational experiences designed to give students the hands-on experience they need to thrive in their future careers.