Hayley Oligane came to NSU somewhat by accident. After recovering from an injury and becoming a last-minute soccer recruit with a full scholarship offer, she found herself in South Florida majoring in biology. Her successful undergraduate career ended with her winning the James Farquhar Award, which acknowledges one graduating student for their excellence in scholarship, leadership and service, as well as an NCAA Woman of the Year nomination.
After, Oligane decided to continue her career as a Shark as a graduate student at the college of osteopathic medicine, which is also when she began her mission trips with other NSU students to Bangladesh, and with an organization called Mountain Fund to Nepal. Oligane also was featured online by NSU’s alumni association.
Now, Oligane has earned her medical degree and is in her fifth year of residency in radiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a concentration she chose because of its versatility.
“In radiology you have to know a lot about every single specialty,” she said. “I really liked how it was all-encompassing and it applied to everything I had learned in medical school.”
Throughout her residency, she’s participated in research and found herself in various leadership positions. Her research focuses on liver cancer, minimally invasive oncology treatments and breast cancer.
“Two fields of radiology that I’ve been interested in were interventional radiology and women’s imaging because you interact with patients,” Oligane explained. “These research opportunities allow me to interact and be more hands-on with patients.”
Oligane is the chief of radiology resident, an elected position; part of her responsibilities include mentoring younger students through the program. She said that leadership positions aren’t necessarily roles that she seeks out, rather ones that she often finds herself in. Part of that might be because of a leadership style that involves hard work and empathy.
“I kind of lead by a good example and I end up getting voted into these positions,” she said. “And I really like it.”
But with these responsibilities, Oligane said it’s harder to travel abroad for mission trips. In the next year, she plans to take her first trip since Nepal with her sister to El Salvador. Still, she hasn’t stopped finding ways to help her community. During her years of residency, Oligane has taken to lobbying on Capitol Hill, urging lawmakers to pass legislation for preventative screening for early detection of cancers.
“It all revolves around [the fact] that patients tend not to get screening tests done when their insurance companies won’t cover the costs and it’s important that our government holds our insurance companies responsible for providing those screening tools to our patients,” said Oligane.
Oligane is looking into fellowship programs and planning the next steps in her career. For undergraduate or graduate students who may be doing the same, she had the following advice:
“Follow [your] instincts. Do what [you’re] passionate about,” said Oligane. Don’t follow money or any type of influence, just do what you’re passionate about, because when you do what you’re passionate about you’re going to be good at it.”