1. What made you want to get your MD degree at WVU?
I didn’t apply for the rural track option, but I liked how WVU focuses on those in rural areas. I wanted a school that was dedicated to serving local communities. And, of course, West Virginia is a beautiful state so that helped in my decision as well.
2. What made the program so appealing?
Aside from the focus on rural health the program became much more appealing after my interview. It was more relaxed and comfortable than the other interviews that I had. When I was called in I was relieved to sit around a small table in close proximity to those who interviewed me. They asked questions that centered on my personal life and experiences, and then we spoke about my friends and family. They didn’t ask many questions about my academics or extracurricular activities since they already had that information from my application. It was more personal, and they seemed genuinely interested in me as a person rather than an applicant.
3. What is your favorite part of the program?
At first I was a little disappointed to hear I was going to be spending the last two years in Charleston, but the more I learn about what a lovely city it is, and how the clinical experiences are focused on smaller groups of students, the more I am excited to be going. I'm excited about being in a different location and on a different campus, and I can’t wait to see what more the state has to offer. We have a fantastic class, and it will be nice to get to know more of my classmates in a smaller group setting in clinical rotations.
4. What makes the Charleston campus unique from the others?
I hear that Charleston is more of a grown up town and I’m looking forward to that. It should be a nice change to get away from the undergraduate feel of Morgantown. I’ve heard that we will also get more one on one time with clerkships on the Charleston Campus.
5. What made you want to become a doctor?
I didn’t know that I wanted to be a doctor while I was growing up. It was not until after the military that I realized that I wanted to help people in a more profound and life changing way. I came to the realization that I needed to do something where I was continually learning and able to have a challenging and gratifying career.
6. How do you balance your home, school, and social life?
Well, it can be a little difficult to have much of a social life outside of school, but I try to keep myself as sane as I can. I set aside time to work out and stay fit, as well as spend time with my dogs. As a class we have several social gatherings every semester so that gives me a chance to get out and have some fun.
7. How have your experiences in the National Guard and serving in Iraq helped you in medical school?
I think that the military has given me the skills to deal with stress in a productive manner, and I’ve developed good time management skills. The military focuses on teamwork, and I’ve found that is essential in navigating through medical school.
8. What do you think about the school's community service requirements?
I like the community service requirement. I would not be as involved as I have been if it were not for the requirement. With the requirement you have to make sure you set aside time away from school to give back to the community. I’ve volunteered for a few different events like the Grand Bash and bingo at the local nursing home. When I was home over break I volunteered at the Humane Society. The school also does a great job of making us aware of volunteer opportunities.
9. What are your goals after graduating?
My goal is to get into a residency program that I want. I’m not sure what or where yet, but I think I have some time to figure that out yet. Every time I shadow or I have a new experience I think “this could be the road I could take”. The shadowing opportunities have really opened my eyes to all of the paths out there for an MD.
10. What is your favorite thing to do outside of school?
I like to spend time outdoors, whether it be hiking or fishing or pretty much anything that gets me out of the house. It’s nice to have dogs because then I have a reason to take time away from studying and get some fresh air with them.
11. Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about medical school?
Most people will tell you how difficult it is, but if you dedicate yourself to it and manage your time then you will get through it successfully. It’s gratifying to know that all of your hard work studying has paid off after you finish each test.