Undergraduate School and Major
Furman University; Health and Exercise Science (Undergraduate) and University of Tennessee, Knoxville ; Exercise Physiology (Master's degree)
Possibly surgery or cardiology (although keeping my options open)
Family Medicine Interest Group (various activities such as Tar Wars anti-tobacco program, sexual education program at a local high school, and nearby health fairs participation); Student Women in Medicine (SWIM) interest group; Promotions officer for the M1 class
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Not only is Quillen close to home and an affordable state school, but more than that it is an excellent institution with many appealing academic qualities. The small class size was one of the most decisive factors in my decision as it exemplified the school's interest in students as individuals. The small class size in comparison to other schools allows frequent interaction with professors and proves beneficial in the learning process. Additionally, I considered it important that Quillen focuses on the education of future physicians more than on the production of institutional research.
Life Outside the Classroom
While each student is different, there are plenty of opportunities for involvement in extracurriculars both at Quillen and in the surrounding community. Some students participate in interest groups while others volunteer with local organizations. Unfortunately, there are often more activities of interest than there are available hours in the day. Personally, I enjoy spending time in educational programs, teaching about health in some capacity. Interaction with the community reminds me of why I am going into medicine so I view these programs as time well spent.
Living in Northeast Tennessee
Having always lived in Tennessee, I cannot say enough about the beautiful location of Quillen. Driving to school, I am always impressed by the picturesque mountains that are the backdrop. There is a perfect mix of seasons here from the flowering trees of spring to the dusting of snow in the winter. For me, Johnson City is a nicely sized city: small enough to feel safe and large enough to have plenty to do. In addition, Johnson City is in such close proximity to various larger cities that weekend trips are feasible.
Although I have always wanted to be a doctor, I finished my Master's degree last spring in exercise physiology. I greatly enjoy this field and felt that an advanced degree would benefit me later in practice. Graduate school also provided opportunities for the practical application of knowledge and research experience that I might not otherwise have been exposed to.
Words of Wisdom
My best advice would be to take as many science classes as you can before applying. As an atypical science major, where my major courses had no overlap with premedical requirements, I regret that I did not take more sciences such as biochemistry, genetics, or advanced biology. I know that the exposure to these classes would have proven beneficial this year and in the next. Additionally, I would encourage students to gain real-world exposure to the medical field. Becoming a doctor is a huge commitment which should be carefully considered before starting medical school.