Emilee Falch works as assistant medical technician

“I was really nervous my first time ever sitting through a surgery, I had never seen someone getting cut open or anything like that. It was a removal of a cyst, so it wasn’t anything huge, but they take a scalpel and cut a big circle in someone’s leg. I got a little bit nauseous which scared me because I’ve wanted to be in the medical field for a really long time, but over time it got easier,” junior Emilee Falch said.

Being a doctor runs in Falch’s blood. Her uncle is a pharmacist, her aunt is a paramedic, her grandpa is a doctor, and both of her grandmothers are nurses. So it was no surprise to them when she took interest in the medical field and started shadowing doctors. From neurosurgery, to family physicians, to brain surgery, her interests are very intense, all over the board, and aimed at helping others. These interests are taking her places; Falch volunteers with Special-Ed students, at elderly homes, and even at Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fights.

“I think it’s funny that Em works at the fights. She’s this preppy blonde girl from Stillwater who goes to these crazy dangerous fights regularly,” senior Hadley Johnson said.

Falch used to be an MMA fighter herself before she got injured, and she is now on the sidelines ready to help an injured fighter at a moment’s notice. Working an unpaid internship as an Assistant EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), she travels Minnesota and Wisconsin attending fights typically through the Sterling Entertainment Group with her grandfather, who is the head doctor of the program.

As a friend I see her going very far in the medical field, and honestly I don’t know anyone more hardworking, dedicated, or determined as she is. She really enjoys it.”

— Cora Shrankler

“Basically a typical day would be two days before the fight, I do the pre-physicals and neuro physicals of the fighters. They weigh-in to make sure they make weight and we basically check over them for heart-rate, pulse, have them do a concussion test, and the girls take a pregnancy test. They just do typical walk with your heel to your toe type of thing. We check their medical history and stuff like that and then the next day are the weigh-ins again and the day after would be the fight,” Falch said.

Falch stands beside her Grandpa just outside of the ring, getting a front row seat into the heated atmosphere of the fights. She has to keep on her toes ready to jump into action, as the fights advance quickly and are extremely intense. Falch is kept busy with the amount of injuries circulating throughout the event.

“Our last fight was live, almost every single fight someone needed stitches, so we have a room set up in the back. I legally can’t do the stitches yet, but I walk back with them and do the checking over until Doctor Stringer is ready. I make sure everything is going right, hand him utensils, assist him,” Falch said. 

Not a fight goes by without a memorable moment to go with it. Each one just as exciting as the next. Falch has met so many amazing people and has witnessed so many incredible stories taking place. She shares one of her most treasured memories:

“There was one fight where Dan Kieser was kneed in the forehead and he died in the ring, he was carried out with no heartbeat and a 10 percent chance of living. Once he got to the hospital he was revived by my grandpa. He’s on disability now, but you wouldn’t even guess that anything ever happened to him. That relationship has become so mind blowing,” Falch said.

Falch mentioned her surprise to meeting the fighters. Many expect them to be harsh people, but they are not there to hurt others, fighting is merely a hobby, a way of life. Fighters can not be held accountable for the injuries of their opponents unless the referee calls it as an intentionally illegal move. Nevertheless, being the cause of an injury does take a mental tole on the fighters.

“The last fight I was at, Sam Hernandez made his opponent seize for 5 seconds, and he’s not fighting anymore because of it. That’s how crazy it was for him. The fighters are the sweetest people I’ve ever met, you would never guess how incredibly sweet they are,” Falch said. 

Not only is Falch passionate about her work, but she is passionate about the people who go along with it. She plans to continue her journey of  medical business down the road. Next year she will be taking two medical courses at Century College to receive certain certifications. She plans to look at colleges out in Colorado, and is interested in attending medical school at Duke University School of Medicine. Falch also hopes to attend a program through National Youth Forum of Medicine, where she would travel across the world shadowing doctors and sitting inside surgeries. 

“As a friend I see her going very far in the medical field, and honestly I don’t know anyone more hardworking, dedicated, or determined as she is. She really enjoys it,” junior Cora Shrankler said.

Falch has impressed many people by being a 17 year old already so involved in the medical world. She is so incredibly passionate about her work, and plans on continuing to impact people and help to improve their lives.

“I think the part of it that interests me most, and that makes me want to keep going to the fights is not just the medical experience but after the fight is done I go back with the person who lost the fight and talk with them. The passion that you get from those people and some of them have to fight to live and some of them do it for their family. When I volunteer at elderly homes, the process of meeting new people and hearing new stories that makes me enjoy volunteering,” Falch said.