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May 25, 2020

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Amanda Fincher on her way to medical school in Turkey

In May 2011 Amanda Fincher received her Ada High School diploma. Her hopes were set a medical career in dentistry.

Sixteen months after high school, as she puts it, “my life turned upside down,” as she learned late last week that she was accepted into medical school in Turkey.

This weekend she is on her way to Turkey, where she will enroll as one of 25 students accepted into the English medicine program at Yildirim Beyazit University in Ankara.

She received a tuition-paid scholarship to attend medical school, which is a six-year process there. During the 2011-12 school year she attended Ohio State University studying biology with intentions of getting into dentist school.

“I was on track to study dentistry, but I really wanted to pursue medicine and specialize in cardiology as I have a family history of heart disease,” she told The Icon.

How did she end up going to Turkey? “While in college I met some people from Turkey who told me about schooling there,” she said. “In Turkey I can go straight into medicine and became an M.D.  In six years. That caught my attention.”

Earlier this summer she took a two-week trip to Ankara, Turkey.

“It’s a beautiful county with a traditional culture. While there I visited and applied to several universities,” she said. “As time has been slowly ticking by, I thought that there was no chance I would be accepted to one of these schools.

“Then on Friday (Aug. 31) my life turned upside down and I found was accepted at one of the schools.”

Fincher, who turned 19 on March 13, will leave the U.S. on Sunday for Turkey. Classes start on Sept. 24.

She explained that she will work with Turkish doctors, but they won’t speak English.  Neither will the patients she will see.

Her crash-course in the Turkish language is already underway. “My classes will be in English but, I’m already working on the Turkish language,” she said.

Fincher’s interest in heart disease is unique. At age 12 she had a defibrillator implant. Her mother, Jennifer, and her older sister, Mayalean, also have implants. Her mother is office manager at Community Health Services, Ada. Her sister, a 2005 Ada High School graduate, is now a high school biology teacher in Texas.

“I learned to live with my disease. I wasn’t allowed to participate in any contact sports, but I did play golf,” she said. The list of other activities she participated in while an Ada student demonstrates that she was very active in lots of things.

She played golf four years, was in show choir, band, Liberty Bells and Boys 4-H Club, Girl Scouts, FFA and was on the Hardin County Junior Fair Board.

In Turkey, Fincher will be seven hours ahead of Ada. She plans to set up a Skype account and use it as her primary source to stay in touch with her family and friends in Ada.