A Champion for Women
Claire Packer, MTS 2008
Claire Packer has had a passion for science, women’s health, and service for her entire academic career, starting at MTS. She recently graduated from Oregon Health & Science University and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health with her MD/MPH and will be starting her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Integrated Program this summer.
Eric Kielich and Nancy Tracy were instrumental in her development as an academic, in both science and research. Her eighth-grade research project was on the history of abortion care in the United States, which according to Claire, she still occasionally references with her colleagues. She continued to develop her passions at Branson and majored in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, where she led a swim program for children with cerebral palsy, volunteered at the St. Louis Crisis Nursery, conducted research in a neuroimaging lab and was recruitment chair for her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma.
During medical school, she thrived as a budding clinician, researcher, and leader in academic medicine. She led the ob-gyn research group and has herself published 12 full length manuscripts and presented over 50 projects investigating adverse outcomes of pregnancy, social determinants of high-risk obstetrics, and health care economics. During her MPH year, she worked with the Population Counsel in Zambia investigating the predictors of teenage pregnancy, a major public health issue in the country, and is currently working on writing policy backed by her published data. In addition to her academic work, she created a program to provide women’s health education and resources to houseless women in the Portland area, volunteered at the local free clinic and spearheaded a program to vaccinate parents of hospitalized children. She was elected into Alpha Omega Alpha society and will be graduating at the top of her class in June.
While her ambition for a medical career has always been a driving force in her life, she maintains the importance of work-life balance. For Claire, this means spending time with her family in the Bay Area and her friends across the country, doing the athletic activities she loves and traveling the world. She attributes the foundation of this balance to her time at MTS and how her teachers fostered not only her brain, but her creativity, hobbies and interpersonal relationships. Her friendships from MTS and the community that brought her up have continued to be a meaningful presence in her life. She is excited to continue her clinical training in Boston with hopes to pursue a career in high-risk obstetrics and research back in the Bay Area after training.