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Lauren Coaxum

Lauren Coaxum, MD ’20, was interested in science from a very young age, and this interest turned to inspiration after watching her childhood physician. Seeing a Black woman in that role empowered Coaxum, and she decided then—as an awestruck 5-year-old—that she would grow up to be a doctor.

Portrait of Lauren Coaxum

This experience came full circle for Coaxum during one of her overnight rotations in the ER. Tired and stressed, she went in to check on a patient: an older Black woman. As the patient awoke, she started praising Lauren for the work she was doing and encouraging her to keep going.

“It really inspired me,” Coaxum says. “It reminded me that it’s not very often that she sees people that look like her taking care of her.”

While Coaxum’s dedication to health care has never faltered, there were times when she felt the overwhelming cost of medical school. However, earning a Baxter Family Scholarship was able to ease that burden, and allow Coaxum to focus on her studies and her patients.

During her time as a Jefferson student, Coaxum received TLC’s #GiveALittleTLC award for creating Think Before You Type, an anti-cyberbullying organization that focuses on promoting positive self-esteem and using the internet for good. 

Currently, Coaxum is in the Duke Emergency Medicine Residency Program. 

“Once I was finally able to rotate in the emergency department, I loved it as much as I thought I would, and I was incredibly excited that I found such a good fit. I really liked the feeling of arriving in Durham and meeting with a bunch of kind people who were representing the program so well.”

Coaxum’s research fellowship has brought her countless opportunities to grow within the EM field. One such opportunity was taking part in the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine’s Advanced Research Methodology Evaluation and Design course where Coaxum met with EM physicians, of various levels within their careers, from all over the country to learn about their research. Coaxum’s passion for research has led her to contribute as a co-author for several published research papers with more awaiting publication.