Yale hockey player attracted to medical school's collaborative environment

Dunbar takes the blood pressure of a woman while another student takes a man's blood pressure reading behind her.

Gaining hands-on experience

Ashley Dunbar MD '21 runs the blood pressure station at our Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine's Bobcat Clinic in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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shley Dunbar MD ’21 chose the collaborative environment at the Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine after recovering from a serious head injury that ended her Division I hockey career.

"As an athlete with a medical history of concussions, I knew that it could be my last time playing the game I loved, had trained so hard for and dedicated my life to for the past 13 years," she said. "The best professionals cared for me, yet each day of my convalescence was more challenging than the one before. The doctors assured me that I would be fine. Nevertheless, with each passing day spent in a darkened room, I felt handicapped and at an identity loss. Who was I if I could no longer play the sport that had shaped me?"

As her symptoms began to ease, she began to recognize that she had options — including helping others.

As a Yale alumna, she looked forward to returning to Connecticut to learn how to give others what her doctors gave her — a second chance.

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“It was in this time of adversity that my life goal became aiding others with similar struggles,” she said. “I did not want others to feel the pain of unfulfilled potential and handicap because of injury or disease. I wanted them to know that they are understood — and not alone.”