Alyssa Pfister, MD '01

Spotlight on Alumni

"I graduated from Wheaton in 2001 and then attended medical school at East Tennessee State University from 2001-2005. I participated in the Rural Medicine tract at ETSU in preparation for medical missions. Following medical school, I completed a 4 year residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics (meds/peds) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During my years at Wheaton, I participated in Student Missionary Project and served in Bolivia for a summer. I grew significantly - spiritually and personally - through that experience and pursued that God-given interest in international missions through classes in the Christian Education and Missions departments. I continued to participate in short term missions opportunities through medical school and residency and then completed a 2 year term as a medical missionary at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya from 2009-2011. Through that time, God opened my eyes to a gradual, growing conviction that medical missions was where 'my great passion met the world's great need' (Buechner). I joyfully joined a team of three young families embarking on a medical missions career in Burundi, East Central Africa through Serge Global (formerly World Harvest Mission). Our growing team seeks to bring God’s grace to the frayed edges of this world and our lives as we teach and disciple medical students and care for patients at Kibuye Hope Hospital.

My education at Wheaton continues to be instrumental in my journey in medical missions. I appreciated the opportunity while at Wheaton to discuss medical ethics, to study the theology of missions, and to have my world expanded in many ways through professors, chapel speakers, and friends as we discussed life and faith from a global perspective. While the prerequisite chemistry, biology, and physics courses were beneficial for my career, the above gleanings from a Christian liberal arts perspective have provided a foundation that continues to support me through the joys and challenges of this work."