Getting into and navigating through medical school can be challenging for anyone, but Julia Rodes refuses to let anything get in the way of her being successful at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), not even being a spinal cord injury person (SCIP).
An article on the MUSC website said Rodes, a first-year student, became a part of the school's Class of 2021 while in a standing wheelchair that accommodates her on her academic journey. Her high-tech chair gives her the ability pursue such scholarly activities as lab work with more ease.
“Of course, the technology is amazing,” Rodes said in the article. “I’m completely suspended and held in place. But I still tire out easily, since my leg muscles are trying to work on their own. So, they spasm when I’m upright. Every 45 minutes or so, I have to lower myself and take a breather.”
The 27-year-old said she has wanted to be a physician ever since she was 12 and allowed to view the family nurse deliver babies, the article said. She was involved in a motorcycle accident six years ago that resulted in a spinal cord injury that put her in a wheelchair. But despite her condition, she lives a full life, traveling the world meeting other SCIPs, studying medicine and excelling at MUSC, the article said.
"Moving forward, key shifts in the public consciousness will revolve around these points: that weakness is actually strength and that the similarities between me and someone without a disability far outweigh the differences,” Rodes said in the article.