WSU Cougar Head Logo Washington State University
Keely Coxon

Keely Coxon

Pathology – Anatomic & Neuropathology, University of Washington

About Me

My path to medicine was anything but linear. I grew up in the Everett area and attended the University of Utah after “retiring” from a 13-year career as an alpine ski racer. I had always planned on becoming a doctor, but developed an interest in journalism and public relations during high school and chose this as my eventual area of study in university. Upon graduating, I started a consultancy and worked with clients ranging from nonprofits and startups to Fortune 500s and government agencies. During this time, I also competed as a distance runner. I intended to eventually pursue medicine, but kept putting it off until 2011, when my mother was diagnosed with a rare heart condition. I was subsequently diagnosed as a rare disease patient myself, which presented an opportunity to learn firsthand what it is like to navigate the healthcare system under uncertain circumstances. This experience re-ignited my interest in studying medicine and I returned to school to complete my premed courses. I fell in love with pathology during my final semester and decided to work as a pathology tech for a year and a half while applying to medical school. It was during this time that I became familiar with both forensic pathology and neuropathology, and proceeded to explore these interests in medical school.

My medical school journey

It is an honor to train in my home state of Washington, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to watch our medical school grow during the past four years. I hope to eventually serve as a medical examiner here in the Northwest.

Hopes & Aspirations

I plan on pursuing subspecialty training in the field of pathology, with the goal of becoming a forensic neuropathologist. My primary role will be as a medical examiner, but I would like to remain involved in autopsy teaching and neuropathology research. Through my own experience as a patient and rare disease family member, I know how deeply unsettling it is to not have answers. Pathologists are granted the unique opportunity to look for answers at the deepest level – literally, microscopically!

I hope to help patients, families and care teams find valuable information when they need it most,” says Coxon.