As far as my experience at John Carroll, I could not have been better prepared for medical school. The rigors of the education taught me the study skills I needed and gave me a foundation in sciences directly related to medical education that paved the way to a great medical school performance. In particular, the biology department at John Carroll understood the principles I would need to perform well not only in medicine but in research as well, and I found myself ahead of my peers in regards to both. The quality of the education at John Carroll was second only to the wonderful experience I had during my four years of undergraduate work. While I was prepared well academically, I was also prepared as a student of life in general, learning that serving my community as a “Man for Others” is a call we should all learn to answer.

In regards to the education, the first year in biology laid out principles that were revisited during medical school. Without the challenge the education at John Carroll gave me, I would have been in a more difficult place in medical school in an already hostile learning environment. Later on, courses offered like Immunology and the introductory courses to bench research expanded on that knowledge. During my second year of medical school, I found myself far ahead of my peers in these fundamental principles and performed well because of the background I had received. I also found the courses in ethics that coincided with many of the biology courses were extremely helpful in helping me grasp some of the difficult situations faced during one’s medical education and beyond.

When asked about how I performed so well during medical school, I always mention how my fundamentally sound undergraduate education at John Carroll paved the way. During my 3 and 1/2 years of medical school, I have managed to receive honors in every course, publish six papers and abstracts, ventured on multiple medical missions trips, presented papers in Sorrento, Italy and Havana, Cuba, have received numerous scholarships for my performance, was elected a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, served as president of multiple school organizations, and am number one in my graduating class.

On steps I and II of our board exams, my scores placed me in the top 1/2 of 1% in the nation on these exams. Because of the performance, I received interview offers for residency at Johns Hopkins, Mayo, Yale, Emory, U. of Maryland, Columbia, and Cornell, to name a few. I am certain that a lot of what I was able to do was because of people like Dr. Flechtner and Dr. Martin who inspired me to reach beyond a simple education and strive to truly make a difference in life in some manner. When I came back to John Carroll recently, I left wishing I could have done it all over again – great time, great experience, even better people. What the future brings is uncertain, and I will most likely find myself in some unknown waters while serving in the Navy. But hopefully someday I’ll be able to return to John Carroll, maybe even as a physician at the Cleveland Clinic (definitely a dream) and give back in some way.