Gisel Bello ’13

Gisel Bello graduated in 2013 from the Biological Sciences program focusing in Biochemistry. Then she returned to URI and completed an informal post-bac in Biochem in 2015 prior to enrolling in medical school. Now, she is a OB/GYN resident in Atlanta. Learn how she grew into her role as an Honors Student and the guidance that helped her on a winding path to where she is today.

Tell us about a favorite memory from your undergrad days. What do you think of the Honors Programs and your time at URI?

The Honor Program was instrumental to my success at URI. I shyly walked into accepting that I was an Honors student, but the more I showed up to Lippitt Hall and the more people I met, the more I grew into accepting that designation. One of my most important memories is walking into Kathleen Maher’s office, back when I was pre-med – very overwhelmed with all that getting into medical school encompassed, and frankly feeling defeated – and being received with so much love and understanding by her. She listened to all the challenges I had as a low-SES, first generation college student and said fervently that she believed in me, that she thought I would make a great physician, and that she was going to be by my side every step of the way. She kept that promise and now I am here. Thank you so much Kathleen.

Tell us about the work you are doing today. What is your job, title and responsibility?

I am a rising second year OB/GYN resident at Emory University in the city of Atlanta. With regards to responsibility, there is A LOT I am responsible for, but to simplify it, I am responsible for learning from my peers, attendings, and patients how to be the best OBGYN I can be.

What did the path to your current role look like? What are some interesting jobs or experiences you had along the way?

It was circuitous for sure. After URI, I took 4 years off from the medical school application track to deal with some family issues, learn to be an adult, and gain experience in other things I was interested in. And, I ended up doing a whole lot during that time. I took on a clinical research position at Rhode Island Hospital for two years. Volunteered and went on medical missions to Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Honduras in the summers. Scribed in the emergency department for a year. Went back to URI to do an informal post-bac after MCAT requirements were changed. Ran the Science and Engineering Summer Fellowship for a summer. Learned how to scuba dive. Etc, etc.

What would you like to highlight about your post-grad experience that you feel URI and the Honors Program uniquely prepared you for?

URI/Honors Program was the place where I learned about really interesting opportunities available to me during the school year or throughout the summer – I felt I always had a team supporting me and looking for opportunities that would fit my career interests and grow me into a well rounded person. Those opportunities were the ones I ultimately ended up speaking a lot about during medical school interviews and were the same opportunities that helped me grow personally as well. In college, you don’t know what you don’t know and it is only through experiences that take you out of your comfort zone that you are able to develop the foundations for a new perspective.

Have you maintained connections with URI through alumni networks? Are you involved in any mentorship or outreach programs through URI? 

I have stayed in contact with Seeds of Success but outside of that, I have not been involved but I would really like to be because I know that had I not received the mentorship I got at URI, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I would be happy to attend panels and you can reach me by email with the understanding that it might take me a little while to respond.

What advice do you have for current students?

Be as open to receiving all the support you can get. Sometimes it can feel like you have to figure it all out on your own, but you don’t have to. I would argue it would be futile to try to. Lose the shame, ask for help, and thrive.