As the reality of residency and their new careers settles on the graduates of the MD Class of 2016, so too, for many of them, does financial reality. Fortunately they’ve had Linda Gillette, the director of financial aid for Alpert Medical School, to prepare them for this moment. “Students pay a lot of money to go here. It’s a very intense program, and the last thing they need to be stressing about is finances,” she says. “By their fourth year they have the tools to go forward.”
About 70 percent of Alpert medical students receive some form of financial aid, including federal loans and need-based scholarships, and Gillette and her staff meet with all of them; they also counsel residents and recent alumni. “We are mentors to our students,” she says. “We get to know them in ways other folks in the building might not. There are pretty intimate things they have to tell us because it’s financial.”
Over four years, they get to know her, too. “It takes people a long time to know I have a sense of humor. I worry I won’t be taken seriously,” she says. “But it’s my nature to laugh. If you don’t have a sense of humor in this business, it can be pretty dry.”
Life skills: “You don’t do a lot of math in this job. You do a lot of counseling,” Gillette says. “Having put myself through college, I understand how to manage money.”
Globetrotter: This coral from Cancún is just one memento from Gillette’s many, many travels. “I’m always planning a trip,” she says. “It’s one of those things I’ll splurge on.”
Buttoned up: “We’re always trying to make things easy for the students,” Gillette says. “The federal loan process is really complicated. Every now and then I actually hit it when I’m with a student.”
Modern living: “We always owned antique homes, but they’re a devil to keep up,” says Gillette, who recently moved to a 40-year-old house. “For us it’s like brand new. Windows that actually open and close!”
Serendipity?: After she and her husband bought a house in Vermont last year, Gillette found this in one of the closets.
Picture perfect: Family photos dominate Gillette’s office decor. “I feel like I was really blessed to grow up in such a close family,” she says.
Foodie in the family: Gillette’s husband, John Edick, runs an award-winning catering company. “He learned to cook from watching his grandmother—thank God!” she says. “He’s a great cook.”
Très élégant: “Chanel is the only perfume I’ve ever worn,” Gillette says, “and I’ve never bought it for myself.”