What's your name and hometown?
Richie Liberio. Lansdale, Pennsylvania.
Why did you decide to go to medical school?
I had been interested in healthcare since my freshman year of high school. I found a passion for the importance of exercise in managing disease, which I attribute mostly to my experience growing up playing sports. Initially, I wanted to become a physical therapist and work with athletes, but then I found myself becoming more interested in the idea of becoming a physician.
Why did you decide to come to West Virginia University for medical school?
I did my undergrad at WVU. After four years, I learned that West Virginia is a resilient state and faces its issues head-on. That is inspiring to me and I wanted to be a part of the many battles the state is facing in healthcare.
Did you have any special experiences while at WVU?
I came to WVU for undergrad because of its exercise physiology program. To sum up my experience here before medical school, I was granted some pretty amazing opportunities because of exercise physiology. The coursework got difficult, but the exposure to real clinical scenarios is unmatched. The importance of exercise is also emphasized, but on the level of actual biochemistry and physiology and based in an evidence-based approach. Outside of coursework, I was able to travel to Nicaragua with the Global Medical Brigades, which was an incredible experience.
What's next for you after medical school?
I hope to become either an emergency medicine doctor or a pediatric oncologist and if all goes well, I would love to teach students, if possible.
What was it about becoming a doctor that got you excited?
One of the most intriguing things about being a practicing physician is that I am consistently learning and bettering myself.
Was there a particular moment you thought, “This is absolutely the right career for me”?
Though it is an unfortunate way to get very passionate about medicine, most of my interest came from knowing several people diagnosed with some form of cancer. Most recently, a close friend of mine was diagnosed and even more recently overcame a very aggressive subtype of lymphoma. Watching how devastating the pathology is in real life, outside the hospital, is very scary, yet somehow motivating to me.
Did you participate in any clubs or groups at WVU?
Like I mentioned before, the Global Medical Brigades was a very important organization to me, as it was a driving force for me to continue onto higher education. I also participated in some cancer research during my senior year and I hope that I will have some time to continue next semester.