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Following Dreams

"Richmond Raceway NASCAR Doctor"

Taylor: What kind of training and skills do you have to have to work a NASCAR race?

M. T.:  You have to have trauma experience. I see the drivers if they crash and can’t drive off the track. They come in and have to be examined.

Taylor: How long have you been working in the medical field?

M. T.: I’ve been working at my local hospital for about 5 years.

Taylor: What kind of doctor are you when you aren’t working a NASCAR race?

M. T.: I work in the emergency room and my training is in family practice.

M. T. showing me around the triage room.

Taylor: What is one of the more scary situations you have experienced?

M. T.: Thank goodness there isn’t too much of that, because the driver’s safety equipment is so well made. We do have patients coming in suffering from asthma attacks, back pains, and sore throats. We also see people here for the races, as well as, the whole race team.

Taylor: Even though you are in the medical field, what kind of fun experiences have you had while working the NASCAR races?

M. T.: I’m from up north and I didn’t know what NASCAR was until I moved down to Richmond.  Coming out the first time and seeing the cars, and how fast they go, I just thought that was pretty cool!

Taylor: What did you want to be when you grew up at around 12 years old?

M. T.:  Honestly, I wanted to be a business woman who got to dress up and wear high heels!

Taylor: When did that change?

M. T.:  High School.

Taylor: What influenced you to change?

M. T.: I had to have knee and back injury. I was hospitalized, so that really helped me make my decision on what I wanted to do in life.

All the NASCAR drivers are treated in this triage room.

Taylor: Who would you say were your mentors and who encouraged you the most?

M. T.: My parents were very supportive and encouraging. We also had a good family friend who was a physician that was extremely supportive and I would say was my biggest mentor.

Taylor: What kinds of friends did you try to surround yourself with when you were growing up?

M. T.: I wanted friends that were honest and caring. I even have some friends from high school that I’m still good friends with.

Taylor: Were you involved in any sports or school programs?

M. T.: Before I had my knee injury, I played softball and soccer. Afterwards, I was on the debate team and I did some candy-striping at a local hospital. I also did a lot of babysitting.

Taylor: As a girl, what peer pressures do you remember having?

M. T.: Mostly, I just had to have the right clothes. When I went to a Catholic school, we had to wear uniforms, so the shoes and purse became important.

Taylor: What is one of your fondest memories from growing up?

M. T.:  I would probably say having my grandfather move in with us was a fond memory. It was very different because one of us had to give up a bedroom.

How old were you when he moved in?

M. T.: I was around the age of nine or ten.

If there are any girls out there that want to be on the NASCAR medical team, what advice and what studies would you recommend for them?

M. T.: Well, they have to go to medical school. I would also say emergency room trauma training is important.  I did work in family practice, but I’ve been working in the emergency room for about nine years now.

During the interview at Richmond International Raceway's infield medical center.

Taylor: You are going to be speaking to girls all around the world through, so do you have anything you would like to say to them?

M. T.: You really can accomplish anything that you set your mind to. It’s hard work, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.


Click to play a "shout out" from M. T.




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