Making history while becoming doctors: Siblings prepare to graduate from TTUHSC Schools on Saturday

Heart of the High Plains

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — “Judging from our physical appearance, you might guess that he’s the older one because he’s my not so little brother, but we are just about two years apart and I would say we get along,” said Stacy Philip, a soon-to-be graduate from the TTUHSC School of Medicine in Lubbock.

Stacy and her brother, Steven Philip, will be graduating from two different TTUHSC Schools on Saturday in two different towns, and thankfully at two different times.

To many, this level of family achievements might sound nearly impossible. However, the Philip’s never doubted the process. In fact, Stacy and Steven shared that they have known that they wanted to pursue a career in healthcare from since they were young children.

“Growing up, our youngest brother- growing up, he had asthma and eczema, and it was very bad. And, you know, we’d sleep together on the same bed and being the oldest, I was kind of like the mother figure and you know… He would wake up in the middle of the night having an asthma attack, and I would set up his breathing treatments for him,” explained Stacy.

As for Steven, he added, “So seeing the medications and how they’ve changed basically his life to where he doesn’t, isn’t like as self conscious about his eczema or anything, or not having to worry about going out and not being able to breathe or having an asthma attack… And I think to see how these medications played a role in his life, to where he has a better quality of life, is kind of what sparked it as well.”

Additionally, Stacy and Steven shared that nearly thirty years ago, their parents immigrated to the United States from Southern India. The siblings shared that their parents made this move in hopes of giving their children all the tools necessary to pursue their passions.

“Just seeing our parents sacrifice throughout the years. Obviously coming from with little to no money in their pockets and being able to make a life for themselves for their kids, and honestly, not just to where we are like, trying to live but like thriving kind of thing. And being able to see their sacrifice and their work ethic and how much they’re willing to put in, and with what little English they had, and seeing how much they can work and make a life for themselves, even with all these things going against them. Kind of I know, for me specifically, I think also for Stacey, it kind of pushed us and gave us a drive also to submit to that and to where that we, we know that anything- that we can set our mind to we can do because that’s the example that we’ve been given,” stated Steven.

As if the Philip’s story of dedication and hard work toward their goals of becoming doctors was not already incredible, this Saturday they will make history at TTUHSC.

“Whenever I heard that my sister was going to request me to be her hooder, I was like, ‘wait. Is this-‘ and she’s like, ‘Is this possible to be done like at the Pharmacy school?” said Steven.

For anyone receiving a Masters or Doctoral degree from the Texas Tech University of Health Sciences Center, a special recognition takes place, where a faculty member hoods the graduate.

So based on tradition, the question seemed out of reach and the request, undoable. However, the siblings thought it would be worth asking.

“So they asked like the Regional Dean of the Pharmacy School, and he was like, ‘yeah. Let’s do it! It’s a great idea,’ and so he was on board and is going to- for the first time in Pharmacy School History, we’re going to allow someone who is not the Dean, but still fulfills like the same requirements that the school has,” explained Steven.

While she discussed her great appreciation for the school system, Stacy stated, “I will always say that I’m so grateful to Texas Tech for letting us be able to kind of have these experiences, opportunities, the resources to kind of explore very many different career opportunities. In terms of what we would like to do with our degree, but also just making us well-rounded human beings I think as well, and just supporting us with love and support from not only faculty, but like from our fellow students. So I just like, I’m forever grateful for them for being able to help us be able to kind of share this kind of experience together.”

On Saturday, Steven will graduate at 9 a.m. with his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy, in Amarillo. As for Stacy, she will receive her Doctor of Medicine degree from the TTUHSC School of Medicine in Lubbock at 2 p.m.

Looking forward, Stacy shared, “I am very excited. I found out that I matched at the In His Image Family Medicine Residency Program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. So I will be starting that this summer.”

As for Steven, he plans to stay in Texas. After graduation, he shared that he plans to become a clinical pharmacist in the Dallas area.

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