Andrea McCoy ’82 always knew she wanted to pursue a career in medicine. Her passion for helping others extends back as far as her youth. However, she credits Ursinus College with enabling her to act on that passion, and believes that the foundation she received as a student led to her successful career as a pediatrician and healthcare administrator.
McCoy says, “While the academics were part of that foundation, the core experience of the community, with faculty mentors who encouraged me to explore beyond my major and a liberal arts education, allowed me to develop skills and build relationships essential to my career.”
The accessible faculty were, in fact, integral to McCoy’s future. And that notion remains true today. “I had some terrific and supportive mentors at Ursinus who challenged me academically and mentored me in research. I also had the opportunity to participate in activities in the community and on campus that both furthered my curiosity and enabled me to explore the sciences and humanities.”
“So much about medicine has changed since I started, most significantly the science that is behind how we diagnose and treat patients,” says McCoy.
For today’s students interested in a career in medicine, she offers this advice: “Look first at your heart. Medicine is a noble profession that requires humility and compassion. You need to be sure you are passionate since a career in medicine means lifelong learning.”
An Ursinus devotee, McCoy was drawn to philanthropically support the construction of the new Innovation and Discovery Center (IDC), set to open in the fall of 2018. Of her giving motivation she says, “I was intrigued by the IDC since it will help to prepare students for success by enabling them to work and think collaboratively across disciplines. Transdisciplinary research and learning is the future of healthcare. The IDC will provide the environment to allow the students of today to become the scientists, physicians, researchers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”
McCoy exemplifies the countless ways in which an Ursinus education prepares students for their future careers. She is living proof that both flexibility and grit is required to find personal and professional success. However, she encourages students to “follow their dreams,” knowing first-hand where one’s aspirations can take them.