Katie Rosauer is a woman of many hats. Not only is she applying to be a PA, but she also hosts a podcast with her best friend where she talks about applying to medical school. She is helping to provide free medical care with the fires happening in California with her free mobile medical clinic MedSpire Health. She is an influencer on Instagram talking about healthy lifestyle and inspiring us with her fabulous fashion.
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Alice: Katie Rosauer is a woman of many hats. Not only is she applying to be a PA, but she also hosts a podcast with her best friend where she talks about applying to medical school. She is helping to provide free medical care with the fires happening in California with her free mobile medical clinic MedSpire Health. She is an influencer on Instagram talking about healthy lifestyle and inspiring us with her fabulous fashion. Welcome, Katie! We are so excited to have you on.
Katie: Thank you so much for having me. I am very excited to chat with you today.
Alice: Awesome. So I just kick things off with some more fun questions. What is your favorite word in the dictionary?
Katie: I like the word essential because I think it can be very relative in taking care of yourself and caring for others. As an individual of Medspire, we became the essential medical care that was needed at the time following the campfire. You can take that word and apply it to many different scenarios. The work that I am going to do in my life as a PA will be essential, and the path to learning and everything that you want to be. You have to put yourself first. And what I am going to talk about today is essentially making yourself a priority, and that way you can be your best self to care for others.
Alice: I think that is awesome. I love how you were able to work essentially in there as well. I have never heard essential used so much. I had never even thought about what an essential worker was before Covid, before all of this. You have undergone like what the fires were in 2018. Can you talk a little bit about starting Medspire?
Katie: Absolutely, yes. It has been a very steep learning curve. Never did I think that I would be a founder of a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit. I was actually still in college studying Exercise Physiology at Chico State, and I was a medical scribe at Feather River Hospital in the ER, which started in May of 2018 and just absolutely flourished. I was learning something new by the second. Being a medical scribe, I will talk more about it, has been the most amazing experience, and the most learning experience that I have ever had.
Alice: What is a medical scribe? I am sorry to cut you off.
Katie: No, it is okay. I get asked this all the time. It is hard to explain if you are not familiar with the medical field, but I am essentially, there you go, the medical providers’ personal assistant. I am doing and charting all the notes; I am ordering all the labs; I am ordering all of the diagnostic imaging, following up on referrals, placing orders, and just being there to help the medical providers focus on the patient. Rather than staring at a computer, patient-centered care is something that I truly believe in, and if the medical providers can care for the patient while I am over there typing, I think that is amazing.
I go into every single exam room; I am there for the entire visit; I get to see start to finish on every aspect of a patient encounter behind the scenes, in the exam room. I seriously learned something new every day. I have had a multitude of different scribing experiences in different departments, but in the ER is where I started. I was right there in codes and scribing everything so quickly. So you have to be a good listener.
I worked at Feather River Hospital for those six, seven months, and I was still going to Chico State. I woke up that morning and my mom asked me, “Katie, come look at the sky. Something is going on.” I said, “Oh, mom. You are dreaming [?]” We have this group where all of us scribes would talk. One of the scribes was already up there and said, “This is bad. I see flames all around me. We are evacuating the hospital,” My instinct was, “how do I help?”, “what do I do?”
The day went on. The sky was pitch black; it was two PM, and it looks like it was midnight. I actually stayed at school because I did not want to miss class. l had Exercise Pathophysiology. Then it came to the point where, I believe that class was from two to four-fifty, she said, “No, we cannot stay. We had classmates that were living in the area.
“How can I help?” That was my instinct. There were scribes and my medical director at Feather River Hospital, who is actually our medical director now with Medspire, which is really awesome. He was at the East Avenue Church. There were over five hundred evacuees at one time in this one gymnasium, at this amazing Church in Chico, and I showed up. I was there to help and did not care what I would do. I know how to scribe, and I did that. I went to all of the tents that were outside. It was freezing cold. I evaluated every patient, and I did that for six weeks. We were out of school, and it ended up being the winter break. I was doing eighteen hours a day, I would not go home. I had the opportunity to cross-check the missing person list and our list of evacuees, then found twelve people. That was really awesome.
I was a wanderer; I was a nurse; I was a counselor. I say this a lot, but like what you said, I wore many hats. That is the basis of how Medspire started, in public health, and all of the different rules. We could not keep on having people at this church gymnasium and caring for them. We thought it was not going to magically disappear or be solved because the evacuation shelter was closing.
We all came together and thought about how to start a non-profit. I am a big researcher whether it is day-to-day life, how to do something, or where to get things. It was awesome to come together with such an amazing group of like-minded people with motivation and passion for helping others.
We just hit the ground running and it was a very steep learning curve. We made a lot of mistakes. We backtracked. We changed our plans. We learned as we went. All of us are still together providing medical care. We have held fifteen free clinic days where we do urgent care, refilling medications. I know it does not sound a lot, but we have connected twenty to thirty patients to primary care providers who did not have insurance. We pride ourselves on that because now we cannot really be a primary care provider. We are all volunteers. None of us get paid. None of us are reimbursed. We all hold full-time jobs. We do what we can, but to be able to connect these patients for continuity of care is pretty remarkable.
Alice: Wow, that is remarkable, Katie. Oh my gosh. What a story. To have the fire so close to you.
Katie: I now work at a children’s primary care clinic in Chico as a scribe. A lot of my co-workers lost their homes, and it brought up a lot of PTSD cases. Even for me, I did not lose my house, but I lost a job. It is just a really interesting feeling. I am so thankful that I get to continue to help. We have an idea of Covid and the necessary precautions that we can take. We have had two clinic days already this month, and we have one on Sunday. We are making up for the lost time. This will be our third clinic day this weekend.
Alice: That is amazing. Do you do everything virtually? Is that how you are doing it now?
Katie: No, we are doing it in an outdoor setting. We have gotten the most amazing community support and everyone says, “Yes, of course, you can host your clinic days here.” We are still holding our clinic days in fire-affected areas and Butte County, but we do plan to proliferate our source, our resources, and services to other areas that may be affected by the fire.
We have been caring for people who have even moved here after the fire. We do not require ID. We do not require insurance. You do not have to be a Butte County resident. We have people come literally drive from Redding to come to see us. It is pretty amazing, the trust we have built in the community, and we are going to continue serving.
Alice: That is amazing. What is next for Medspire? What are your plans? Covid has thrown a wrench into everything.
Katie: That is our revolving question. Originally, we wanted to create this Mobile Medical Clinic where we have this RV and have it medically equipped to go to different places that need medical care. It has always been on our minds, but that takes money. We have an amazing grant writer on our team, and we have received so many amazing grants that we are so thankful for. Personal donations, too. For our next step, we are thinking about getting a sprinter van. Not so much like the big RV, but just a medically equipped van that would be our Medspire van. We use our own cars, take things from our unit, and set it up. It would be nice to have one central area of supplies and equipment. That is on our next plan.
We are going to continue to do our free clinic days. A big part of when we started, we are going into the tent cities following the fire even if there are people still living in tents up in the hills. What I did personally was going in and helping these people, and bringing the medical care to them because a lot of these people are elderly. They have chronic conditions and do not necessarily have physical access to health care. That is the main goal of Medspire, to bridge that Gap, provide continuity of care, and get them connected to resources that they need so well.
Alice: Thank you, Katie, for all that you are doing. Oh my gosh.
Katie: I could not see myself doing anything else. It is funny that you say that because I was sitting there yesterday, just scribing and thinking about my sister studying Interior Architecture. She is so talented with that. I do not think I could do that. This is my calling; this really is. I work with kids now and my mom had a Day Care, a Preschool, ever since I was born, so I have always been around children.
I feel really in my niche. I am with these kids, learning about medicine, and caring for people. I work at a Native American Health Clinic. A lot of our patients, the majority of them are medical patients with no insurance. It is fun because I get to do it as my job, and I also get to help people as a hobby.
Alice: How did you get into the medical field? You know you have been around kids forever. When was that spark that you felt you needed to work in medicine?
Katie: It sounds crazy but at such a young age. I was so fascinated with diseases. I did a lot of research as a young child. I remember fifth and sixth grade, I was I reading My Sister’s Keeper. I am not sure if you are familiar with that. It is about a young girl who has cancer, and she has a sister. That sparked an interest in me, or not necessarily an interest, but confirming the fact that I was interested in diseases. I feel like I could help. I feel like I could figure it out. I am a figure-it-out kind of person.
At a really young age, I was researching all kinds of different professions. I became a junior volunteer at Enloe Medical Center when I was sixteen. When I was able to drive, I was able to volunteer there. I did that for two years. Then I was a college volunteer at Enloe Medical Center as well. I worked as a patient monitor. I worked in medical records at Enloe for three years. I learned a lot in Medical Records. I am reading all kinds of different procedures, different histories, and diagnosis. That is where my grounding of Medical Care started.
Then I wanted to do patient care. I got a job at the River, doing patient care in the room. I did not just start college and decide that I wanted to be a medical provider. I changed my major to Mechanical Engineering. I was a mechanical engineering major for two years. I have a really big passion for cars. I love cars. I have loved cars. I have built and designed cars online since I was in second grade. I know I am crazy. So, I love cars.
Alice: What is your favorite car?
Katie: Everybody always asks me that, but I don’t necessarily have a favorite car. I love like eaters. I love German cars. I love Audis. I had an Audi for my first car, and it was just the best. I went to the BMW Factory in Germany. I just love cars and I wanted to design cars. I did not know if I still wanted to be a medical provider.
I had a lot of anxiety when I graduated from high school, thinking I had to figure it out and I had to know what I wanted to do. I thought I really did not know since I had not tried it. That is something also that I pride myself in. I would not know if I know something unless I try it. So I decided that I am going to try to design cars. I did some more research. I did not want to design chassis but really build the car. I really wanted to design parts of it, which I figured out was not really possible as a mechanical engineer.
I would have had to go to art school. I don’t want to, I am not an artist. I am a science person, a figure-it-out-kind of person. I got an internship at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. I was a design engineer for Defense Technologies and Ternary. I worked on a gas gun that was part of testing nuclear material for the United States Air Force. I did that for the summer of 2016. I loved it. I found it really interesting, but it was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted this job. I wanted to make a difference, and sending out a computer all day was not my vibe.
Alice: It is good that you have figured that out.
Katie: I am really thankful for the opportunity. I connected with so many people and networks. I got back, and I want to do medicine, so I did Exercise Physiology. It was the best decision I have ever made. It was Biomechanics Psychology, Disease Pathophysiology, everything wrapped in one and so it is perfect. It really prepared me to apply to PA school as well.
Alice: That is amazing. Oh my gosh. Just switching gears a little bit, something we always ask on the podcast is, what is your definition of womanhood?
Katie: I love this question because it is very encompassing to think about optimism. I have always been very intrinsically motivated, and I know that not everybody is like that. I am the first in my family to go to college or graduate from college, both sides, aunts, uncles, cousins. Being optimistic that that was possible was game-changing for me. I have made mistakes. I have made multiple mistakes. I did not just go A to Z without mistakes in the middle.
I am continuing to grow every single day. Being a woman is realizing that you are going to continue to grow in every single experience that you and/or being okay with that. Knowing that you have the power to create change is the most important thing because if I just sat here, and think that only men are doctors is not good. Even some of the female physicians and providers that I work with they think, “Oh, I will reach out to him,” and they do not even know who it is, the specialized doctor they are referring to. It could be a female.
Being optimistic and realizing that anything is possible, I know it sounds very cheesy, is good. Realizing that you are going to hit a speed bump and you might even go backward. I thought I knew what I wanted to do. I thought that I would be already in PA school by now, but I have experienced so much life and different things, and felt different things. Being optimistic is the key to success because if you have a closed mind, you are not going to grow, and growth is the key.
Alice: Thank you so much, Katie. I think that is awesome, the idea of optimism. That is something we all need to really keep in mind, especially right now with everything that is happening in the world.
Katie: Yes, exactly, and I am really big with affirmations, I am really big about quotes and things that I read. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I listen to a lot of books. I am not sure if you are familiar with David Goggins. He was a Navy Seal and is the epitome of success made through mistake. He did not give up, and I have listened to his book twice now, Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. He talks about this Integrity Mirror. If you look on my Pinterest Board, the number one board that has the most pins is my inspiration board.
I find a lot of inspiration in these quotes. The Integrity Mirror is an affirmation. My door is closed, but it is on my bathroom mirror. I have about 50 different Post-It Notes. You can see the Post-it Notes on my door. All of these things that I read every day. It is a really important thing to do because you do not just wake up every day and you are motivated. This morning did I really want to get up at four: forty-five to go work out? Absolutely not, I wanted to sleep. But I knew that if I did it, I would be very happy with myself and my day would be better. I will read you a few lines. I took a few off of my mirror this morning. I always ask myself: does this support the life I am trying to create?
Every single decision that you make, leads to the life that you are trying to create whether it is going for a run, eating that burger that you probably should not eat, even simple things. I truly believe they lead to happiness and not just “Oh when I get this, I will be happy.” I really try to embrace the different obstacles, even trying to get out of bed.
Another one is I have the power to create change. What I talked about earlier is: what do you want to do once you graduate? what are you going to do once you graduate from high school? here do you want to go to school? Do you know what you want to be? This one says life is beautiful and I have time.
Back to the whole womanhood topic, my family is very close. I wrote down some things that I want to talk about teamwork because Medspire would not happen without teamwork. We have all brought different aspects to create what Medspire is today because of teamwork. Since I was born, my family has shown me what teamwork is and how to do the things that you want to do. You cannot always do things alone. I have a little sister. She is three years younger than me. We are best friends, always have been. I have six cousins, and we have all grown up together like we are siblings. They are all having kids. The first little baby in our family was a girl. Ever since she was born, we have always just said “girl power, girl power.” She is three and a half now, and she is just the light of my life. She will go around and say “girl power, girl power runs the world.” It is something that I want to inspire other people because I have defied the odds of graduating from college as a first-generation college student.
Being a female and wanting to go into the medical field. I was the first and the only female to go to this internship at Lawrence Livermore. Womanhood, optimism, teamwork, and knowing that you can do are things that need to be in your brain every day. That is why I have these little sticky notes. So reminding yourself the small things really add up to big things. something that I pride myself in.
Alice: Thank you so much, Katie. I think there is so much to take away from that. I love this idea that you have that “everything matters until what you want to see in your life.” Even your example of should I wake up so early in the morning? Yes, or should I eat this cheeseburger? Maybe not. I think that is really cool and a great takeaway from today especially for us, who are still stuck at home because quarantine or Covid, wherever anyone is in the country right now. Just thinking about how I can still be living my life and be happy within these circumstances, by making these little changes, these mantras, affirmations that we had on Post-It Notes.
Katie: Yes. Quarantine has been life-changing for me in many ways. I know a lot of people thought they have to stay inside, cannot be active, or put on quarantine fifteen. It is the opposite for me. I have taken the best out of what quarantine could give me. I was furloughed for five weeks from my job. That is when I really got back into my daily exercise. I started a side business with our bond. I have connected with so many positive influential women, honestly, through that. I have been consistent ever since. I really took what I had control of and ran with it.
Alice: It is amazing, Katie. Is there anything else you would like to add to our listeners today?
Katie: Yes, I have this one finishing idea. I think do not take no for an answer. The one thing that I do want to add is this quote that I absolutely love: be you, do you, for you. Do what makes your heart thrive, your mind challenge, and do it all for you.
Alice: That is amazing. Thank you so much, Katie, for being on today.
Katie: Thank you so much for having me.
Alice: It was so lovely to get to meet you. Oh my gosh.
Katie: You, too. Thank you so much for reaching out and believing in me and what we are doing with Medspire, as a PA.
Alice: I cannot wait to see how it all grows.
Katie: Okay. Awesome. I submitted my application. Every day is a day closer to finding out if I am in for an interview.
Alice: Awesome. Nice meeting you, Katie.
Katie: Thank you so much. It is so nice to meet you, too. Bye. Have a good day.
Alice: Have a great day.