New York Medical College Student Nadia Briones Sings a New Tune in Medicine

Nadia Briones, New York Medical College (NYMC) School of Medicine Class of 2027

Nadia Briones, New York Medical College (NYMC) School of Medicine Class of 2027, wears many hats – a singer, licensed massage therapist, and now a medical student. With a musical ear attuned to harmony and rhythm, and hands adept at healing touch, she embarks on a career devoted to compassionate care and holistic well-being.

Briones has always had a gift for music. Born into a musical family and singing at the age of five, she explored various genres throughout her life, including classical music, jazz, and maintained a connection to her Argentinian roots through tango. Her formal introduction to music was when she joined the Taconic Opera, a local opera company looking for children to join their chorus. She later performed regular gigs with the New York City Opera and The Metropolitan Opera, enjoying a decade-long career. “I just look back and think of how much fun I had performing,” Briones said. “I loved music production and the whole performance environment.”

Briones left her home in Yorktown, New York, and went on to study music at The Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, Connecticut. During her study abroad trip singing opera in Milan, Italy, her passion for the arts collided with her interest in the sciences when a friend introduced her to the tech startup Bright Line Eating. “The idea of people struggling with food and eating intrigued me. I can’t really explain where it came from, but we’ve all encountered our own struggles with our bodies and eating healthily,” Briones recalled. A topic that piqued her curiosity, the startup marked her initial venture into the sciences, as she eagerly worked remotely in customer service, research, and IT.

After graduating college, Briones went back to New York, continuing her work with Bright Line Eating and became more involved in Taconic Opera again, where she helped start a summer opera program for young adults. While she also had performances in between, she started feeling the work from home blues, long before it became the norm in the years of the pandemic. “Even though I was grateful that I had a job that allowed me a lot of flexibility I missed human connection,” she said.

While looking for a new hobby, she found an advertisement for the Finger Lakes School of Massage. She took a leap of faith and went to orientation. Briones ran into a family friend who was a massage therapist and encouraged her to make a career change. “This was a really fun and meaningful way of interacting with a body that I never thought about,” said Briones.

Without formal science training, massage therapy was Briones’ first exposure to anatomy – and she loved it. “My teachers said, ‘You don’t belong here. You belong somewhere where you can really study this stuff in an advanced way,’” she said. Briones shook off the suggestion of her teacher and mentor who alluded to a heavily science-based career. Then, her massage therapy program was invited by NYMC to explore the anatomy lab and she still thought her teachers were ridiculous when they asked, “Can you see yourself here?”

A few years later, she would be in that same lab engrossed in anatomy with the same professors she encountered during her tour. After working at an athletic center providing massage therapy for Olympic weightlifters, she wanted to advance her knowledge in health care and interact with health on various levels. The familiarity and homeyness of NYMC made her choice of medical school easy.

With a guitar in hand and a certification in massage therapy, Briones brings a unique perspective to medicine. As a School of Medicine student senator, she is helping to organize a public speaking workshop in April with the Phillip Capozzi, M.D., Library to teach students ways to engage, convince, and present in front of an audience. She was inspired by her undergraduate studies in performance and saw the need for students to master the art of communication in the medical field.

“I’ve been a student nonstop almost since I was born,” said Briones. “I know it’s early in my medical education, but I fantasize about all the different specialties I could pursue. It’s hard to choose one now, but I can see myself happily being a physician knowing that my scope would end at the depths of the field and not the width.”


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