- Alumni to Watch
Three alumni — Todd Harris ’85, Ben Meares ’86 and Emily Ross Mims ’04 — who are physicians at the same pediatric practice in Raleigh share the experiences that led them to this career and more.
We asked three alumni — Todd Harris ’85, Ben Meares ’86 and Emily Ross Mims ’04 — who are all working as physicians at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine about the experiences that led them to this career and how Ravenscroft helped prepare them for that and more. Here’s what they had to say!
- When did you know you wanted to be a doctor? What led you to pediatrics?
- What is the most rewarding part of the work you do? What is the most challenging?
- Were there aspects of your time at Ravenscroft that shaped or inspired you in your chosen career?
Todd Harris ’85: When I was finishing my ninth-grade year, my sister, Melissa ’81 — who had graduated from Ravenscroft the year prior — was badly injured while driving home from college. She was hospitalized in Winston-Salem for almost four months. There is a lot I could say about that summer. Mom, Dad and I spent it in a camper in the hospital parking lot. One of many lasting impression: I saw doctors, nurses and other caregivers do some pretty great things.
Pediatrics came to me much later. In my third year of medical school, we did two- to three- month rotations in different fields of medicine: obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, internal medicine, family medicine, psychiatry and pediatrics. At some point during each rotation, I typically would start to think, “Now this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” All those other fields of medicine were in a tie for first place for me until my last rotation. Pediatrics broke the tie. I had found my people.
Ben Meares ’86: Every time I have an interaction with Ravenscroft, I imagine someone getting a real chuckle out of the idea that Ben Meares grew up to be a doctor and gives advice to kids and teens! Don’t worry... I’ve matured!
In college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career. I was reasonably good with numbers and people, so I pursued a University of North Carolina degree in business administration. Once I got out into the field as a banker, I felt drawn to do something more, something that would go further to help people. While, as an impatient teen, I hadn’t let myself consider a career in medicine, I felt called to pursue it and decided to go down the long path into medicine. In medical school, pediatrics appealed to me the most, as children are so fun and maximizing their health is such a good cause. It was (and still is) quite a natural fit.
Emily Ross Mims ’04: I definitely did not know I was going to be a doctor in high school. For me, it was more of a gradual process. My dad is a radiologist, and seeing him stress out did not make the job look particularly appealing to me! However, when I was in college, I gradually drifted toward medicine, starting from more of a public health perspective. But I felt that my strengths were better suited to working with individuals instead of working on a policy level. It was not something I was sure I would be capable of doing, and I started taking the prerequisites not knowing if I would be good enough but knowing that I wanted to help others on an individual level.
Pediatrics was a much easier decision for me. I knew for certain that I wanted to go into primary care, initially thinking that family medicine would be a good fit. However, I was always drawn to the pediatric patients and knew that was going to be a calling for me. I genuinely love watching a child develop over time — it is a really fun part of pediatrics.
Todd Harris ’85
Ben Meares ’86
Emily Ross Mims ’04