Mother of 9 Graduates from Medical School After a Two-Decade Journey

Meet Sarah Merrill, a remarkable woman whose dream of becoming a doctor began at the tender age of four. Her journey was anything but linear, filled with unexpected twists and turns.

At 17, she was overjoyed when she got accepted into the pre-med program at Dartmouth College. However, life had other plans. While studying, she met her future husband, got married, and became a mother to a daughter before graduating from Dartmouth. Despite her determination to attend medical school right after college, her priorities shifted when her daughter was born. She decided to be a devoted stay-at-home mom and together with her husband, they expanded their family, having four daughters and five sons within just 12 years.

But Sarah never let go of her dream of becoming a doctor. While raising her nine children, she continued to be part of the medical industry, working part-time in medical research. It wasn’t until her youngest child turned two that she felt the time was right to pursue her dream again. Initially considering a master’s degree, her family’s unwavering support convinced her to stick to her original plan of attending medical school.

Studying for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) with her two youngest children climbing on her, Sarah persevered and succeeded. At 34 years old, she was accepted into the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, taking a major step towards her goal.

Her decision to return to medical school wasn’t taken lightly. Before applying, Sarah held a family meeting, where everyone had a chance to voice their opinions. Thankfully, she received unanimous support, which led to the family moving from Pennsylvania to Arizona to accommodate her studies.

Throughout her medical school journey, Sarah found immense joy in seeing her children inspired by her dedication. They held homework parties together, and her other children proudly spoke about their mom to their friends.

Sarah’s life experience as a mother proved invaluable during her clinical rotations, allowing her to connect deeply with patients, particularly in pediatrics and OBGYN. Now, after four years of hard work, she has graduated with a medical degree and is well on her way to becoming a neurosurgeon.


Sarah, her husband, and their 11 children are now embarking on a new adventure as they move to Indiana for Sarah’s neurosurgery residency at Indiana University. The family is fully supportive, creating a strong and loving foundation for Sarah to pursue her dreams.

Congratulations to Dr. Sarah Merrill on her remarkable journey! Her story is an inspiration to us all. Watch the video below to know more about her and meet her wonderful children. Share this incredible story with your friends and family to spread the inspiration!

Related Posts