The sound of a healthy heart – strong, steady, rhythmic – is music to the ears of any medical professional. But for Taylor Pechtel ’21 it is even more meaningful. Pechtel was an infant when an observant pediatrician noticed that she did not respond to noises the way that other children her age did; she could not hear. Over the years, the care that Pechtel received from doctor and audiologist opened the world to her, and she was convinced that she wanted to do the same for others. She wanted to be a healer, a caregiver.
Pechtel earned an undergraduate degree in biology and, with the support of her mother, she began conducting research into adaptive technology that allows hearing-impaired medical professionals to listen to their patients’ hearts, lungs and other organs, a critical part of making a diagnosis. Today Pechtel is a student in the College’s Physician Assistant Studies Program, and uses those tools to assess and examine patients with the same accuracy as her peers. Pechtel is eager to provide the kind of care to her future patients that meant so much to her.
“I know that this is what I am meant to do,” she says, “and I don’t take any of it for granted.”