Kristine Badin is very busy. She’s in the second year of a three-year fellowship in hematology/oncology at Augusta University’s Georgia Cancer Center. And thanks to the Rubenstein Scholarship, she doesn’t have to spend time securing financial support; rather, she can focus on pursuing her dream.
“I’m becoming a specialist in my field and it’s everyone’s duty to contribute to that field,” Badin explained. With the support of the scholarship, she’s working with her research mentor to develop a well-thought out plan that can have an impact in the field. “Having a scholarship behind me saved me the hassle of trying to find funding to contribute academics to oncology.”
Badin, who attended the college of New Jersey in Ewing as an undergraduate and St. George’s University in Grenada for medical school, has always had an interest in science. In her freshman year, she decided to get her EMT certification so that she could volunteer with the rescue squad on campus and in her hometown of Watchung. During that time, she noticed how much she enjoyed caring for patients, so she decided to apply to medical school.
During her residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson, Badin knew she needed to select a specialty. The combination of working with an incredible attending oncologist and witnessing so many friends and family members battle cancer led her to specialize in hematology/oncology. “Cancer seemed so common and prevalent that I wanted to be a part of helping people who are affected by it. It’s an interesting field that’s changing a lot,” Badin explained.
And she already has ideas about how to improve the dynamics between patients and oncologists. She says physicians need to spend more time with patients and that having a multi-disciplinary approach to care is critical. “When people receive a cancer diagnosis, they don’t hear everything they’re being told because they are in shock. We need more time to talk and repetition to improve care,” she said.
Badin’s been warned that personal time is a big sacrifice many doctors have to make. But she hasn’t wavered. When asked what she would tell other young people interested in medicine she exclaimed, “Keep pursuing your dream!” And that’s exactly what she’s doing. Her long-term goal is to work in the community in a private practice. She’s full of New Jersey pride and intends to move back to New Jersey to be close to friends and family after she completes her fellowship. “I want to live and work in the same area so I can serve the community I live in,” Badin said. And what a lucky community that will be.