Healthcare Is in Her Blood: Phlebotomy Is Just the Start for Recent GraduateBy Maaha Rafique
Angela DeVietro, BS ’23, wants to become a doctor.
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) has a track record of producing job-ready graduates in life sciences careers. Angela DeVietro, BS ’23, is one of them.
During her time at MCPHS, DeVietro, was a concert photographer, a peer tutor, and a student intern at Boston Children’s Hospital, among other roles. The multifaceted Medical and Molecular Biology graduate works as a phlebotomist, a health professional trained to draw blood.
Despite all her accomplishments, DeVietro, who graduated in the spring, resembles many MCPHS graduates before her in her ongoing pursuit of education. Hoping to advance in her career, DeVietro said she wants to attend medical school and become a doctor, inspired partly by her mother, a medical technologist.
"My introduction to the field of medicine was my mom. She has Type 1 diabetes, so I would often accompany her to doctors’ appointments, and I watched her take care of herself,” DeVietro said. “She would have to give herself insulin and change her pump, and she would always explain the process as she did it.”
Her mother’s condition relates to a research project DeVietro did at MCPHS as part of the School of Arts and Sciences honors program. The two-year project on the inheritance of type one diabetes led her to collect DNA from herself and her brother, her mother and father, her maternal grandmother, and her aunt. She learned to use gel electrophoresis and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to analyze the DNA. Both tests are commonly used in industry and medical labs.
“I got my whole family involved and they always asked questions. So I explained the science behind it to them, which was cool. And it helped me to understand it more,” she said.
DeVietro began working as a phlebotomist in 2020 at Lawrence General Hospital. She said phlebotomy is ideal because it allows her to interact with patients while also getting an understanding of lab work.
“If you are caring for patients, you kind of have to understand everything, and the lab is a very important part of that,” she said.
As a clinical research assistant at Boston Children’s Hospital, DeVietro can practice more direct patient care.
“I can go to patient visits and do symptoms surveys. I hadn't thought about working with children before, but now I think it's a really meaningful thing to do. Adults can say for themselves what they want for their care, but a lot of times children don't understand. It's really important to try and advocate for them,” DeVietro said.
Wherever she ends up next, DeVietro said she wants to return to Boston.
“I do want to eventually come back here because I just love how many hospitals and research opportunities there are,” she said. “We're right near everything, for sure.”
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