Tristin Bowens is a former Family Resource caregiver from our Palouse region who is now at the University of Idaho following her dream of pursuing an advanced degree in medicine. She was recently featured in the University of Idaho’s newsletter, and we were so thrilled to see Tristin’s success in progressing toward her career, and honored to have been cited as a formative part of her journey.

Below is Tristin’s Student Spotlight feature in the April 2021 edition of the UI Pre-Health newsletter.

Tristin Bowens is a senior from Boise, double-majoring in Microbiology and Molecular Biology + Biotechnology. She has worked as an In-Home Caregiver for Family Resource Home Care (FRHC).

Fun fact about you:

I bake sweets to relieve stress! I will bake numerous cookies, cupcakes, and pies during study breaks. I then deliver them to my friends around Moscow!

What motivated you to pursue a career in medicine?

My father always told me as a child to “be the light in the darkness”. I remember when he first became very ill and we were told he wouldn’t survive to see my high school graduation, let alone my college graduation. We had seen specialist after specialist along with the good, bad, and the ugly of healthcare. It was the team of doctors that gave my dad more time on this Earth. I can’t wait to walk across that stage in May with my dad looking at me from the crowd. A moment I only dreamed of because it wasn’t supposed to exist. I understand the value of giving someone life, not just for them but for their family. I want to do what those doctors did for me; this is how I choose to be the light in the darkness.

How did you find and obtain your position at FRHC? How did it prepare you for your career in medicine?

I was specifically looking at in-home caregiving and found that FRHC was hiring. This position showed me how to create trust and exhibit compassion for clients of all ages. It also gave me an understanding of how to speak and console family members, especially those of hospice patients. Most importantly, it gave me the ability to see someone as more than a patient with a range of symptoms and diagnoses. I saw them as people with families, history, and the plethora of impacts they have made on others. I began to see people for their humanity.

What has been your favorite class at University of Idaho?

My favorite class has been Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics. This course gave me a greater understanding of genetic diseases at a molecular level.

Any shoutouts to someone at University of Idaho who has been instrumental to your success?

Dr. Fuerst has been nothing but supportive during this mental roller-coaster through my father’s illness. At times when I wanted to quit it was Dr. Fuerst who gave me the confidence and encouragement to move forward.

Any advice for students considering pre-medicine at University of Idaho?

Make sure the “why” behind your dreams is strong. College will inevitably get difficult, it is your “why” that gives you the strength to push forward. Do not let a failed test, a tired mind, or your own doubts keep you from your purpose.