Nicole Buzalka is a 2016 John Carroll University graduate who started medical school this year.  John Carroll has a partnership with the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she is now a student.  Read Nicole’s story below, in her own words: 

I am a first-year medical student at Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) – Cleveland campus. I graduated from John Carroll in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, and took one gap year to do clinical research at Cleveland Clinic before beginning medical school this year. Whenever anyone asks about my undergraduate experience, I always have to brag about JCU. When I took the MCAT I was so grateful for my physical chemistry class with Dr. Chrystal Bruce, when it came to the physics and chemistry section. I didn’t feel I was the best at physics, but her class really helped me think through problems rather than just memorizing random information.

John Carroll is a great school, and the classes are not easy, but I am very thankful that my professors challenged me, even when I was super frustrated in the moment. We are about half way through our first year at OU-HCOM and I credit the study techniques I developed at JCU for the fact that I’m doing well. The current curriculum at OU-HCOM is divided into organ system blocks.  We are in our cardio block right now, and the amount of information that you are given can be overwhelming to learn, but most classes I took at JCU, like human physiology, biochemistry, physical chemistry, and genetics have all shown up in my med school curriculum.

My best advice is to truly learn the information you are given, don’t just memorize stuff for the test because if you want to go into medicine, understanding the information will make your life 10x easier!

To learn more about about the Pre-Health Professions Program at John Carroll, contact Dr. Kathy Lee at 216.397.4491 or

Posted on December 3, 2017