Meet Haleigh McCahon, a second-year categorical pediatrics resident at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware. Haleigh started her journey at the University of Richmond, where she majored in Healthcare Studies. Shortly afterward, she worked as an EMT in Richmond, VA, and a medical technician in an orthopedic surgery practice in Annapolis, MD. After a life-changing experience in her first year of medical school, she realized her true calling in life.

“I discovered my calling for pediatrics early on in medical school. As a first-year medical student, I had the opportunity to hand-deliver wrapped children’s books to sick patients in the hospital during the holiday season through the Reads for Peds organization. Being able to help put a smile on a child’s face, despite spending their holiday in the hospital away from home and loved ones, was the most incredible feeling. While I did not possess the knowledge at that point to be able to make these children feel better medically, I felt privileged to help make their hospital stay a little brighter. I realized at that moment that I wanted to dedicate my career to caring for children.”

Haleigh’s passion for this field stems from an internal drive to educate patient families. She loves to not only care for patients, but also teach families in the process.

“One of my driving factors for becoming a physician is a desire to be a teacher to my patients. I hope to equip them with the knowledge to be able to take ownership of their health and make lasting decisions to improve their well-being. I cannot think of a more meaningful field to direct this passion than pediatrics.”

In her spare time, Haleigh makes sure to keep busy in a purposeful way. She engages in the JeffPeds Mentorship Program and offers guidance and support to medical students interested in pediatrics. She serves as a direct resource for inquiries about the specialty and residency application process. As a MANNA volunteer, she contributes to cooking and packaging medically appropriate meals for Philadelphians facing serious illnesses. Additionally, she held the role of Reads for Peds President in her third and fourth years of medical school, which involved leading the annual fundraiser that first sparked her passion for pediatrics. She helped grow the organization to supply over 3,000 books to pediatric patients across five Maryland hospitals during the holiday season.

“I am so happy I matched at Nemours Children’s Hospital for residency for many reasons, including the diverse patient population that the hospital serves, high-quality education for residents, and close-knit, supportive culture among faculty and staff. This community is what challenges and encourages me to be the best physician I can be each day.”

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