Program M.D. Generalist Track
Hometown Johnson City, TN
Undergraduate School and Major East Tennessee State University- Construction Engineering
Specialty / Career Plans At this point, I am still unsure about specialty. However, I have signed with the U.S. Navy, so a large part of my career will be working as a military doc.
I like to fish, golf, and lift weights.
Marital Status Married with two children.
Since Quillen is in my hometown I may have an unfair bias, but I couldn't see myself going anywhere else. To start, the school is located on a beautiful piece of property called VA Mountain Home, which says it all. The school is only minutes away from various parts of the Appalachian Trail and numerous rivers, streams, and waterfalls. Though in close proximity to the mountains, the school is practically in the heart of town. Most, if not all amenities are located within a five-mile radius. The appeal of Quillen doesn't stop at the terrain. The faculty at Quillen is amazing, and every member of the Quillen staff is willing to go above and beyond to help the students. Many of the administrators and professors will know each student by name at the end of the first week of class. On day one, each student becomes part of the "Quillen family". If the surrounding landscape and incredible staff isn't enough, the facility itself puts Quillen over the top. With a state of the art anatomy lab, patient simulator lab, and student study center, choosing Quillen for my medical education was a simple decision
Being a Quillen Student
As with any medical school, the workload is intense, but the administrators, professors, and fellow classmates are always ready and willing to help. With a small class size of only seventy-two, it is easy to get to know piers, and Quillen does an excellent job of choosing well-rounded, friendly students. As for the curriculum, the basic science courses are on a block schedule and typically last around twelve weeks, give or take a few weeks for some courses. Virtually all class material is made available via the Internet, making it easy to access study material (e.g. notes and lectures). Many classes incorporate small group learning, where four to eight students partake in facilitated discussions and presentations. The small group discussions follow topics presented in basic science lecture and focus on various diseases, ethics, and communication. When it comes to amenities and convenience, Quillen could not be better. The school just finished a student study center equipped with a kitchen, lounge area (with flat screen TV and fire place), and plenty of individual and group study rooms. This study center was built exclusively for Quillen medical students. There are also many study rooms, a computer lab, and break room in the main medical school building, Stanton-Gerber Hall. Many students go to the break room to play ping-pong, foosball, or get coffee during lecture breaks. The ETSU main campus is located less than a mile away with a full fitness facility and library. The majority of classes during the first two years are all held in the same building, Stanton-Gerber, which is very convenient. Fortunately, the medical school and main campus are separated far enough apart so there is no shortage of parking spaces for medical students. Overall, the student experience has been great, and the staff at Quillen makes every effort to create a comfortable environment.
Juggling School and Family
Getting through medical school with a family is definitely feasible, but it does take a supportive family and extra effort for the student. As a husband and father, the majority of my free time is spent with my family. I find that family helps me break up the monotony after hours of studying. However, medical school and the practice of medicine is (as you probably already know) time consuming. Because of the demanding workload, sacrifices had to be made and my time management skills had to be adjusted. Before considering this profession, it would be wise to discuss how life will change once school begins, especially if you have a busy spouse or children.
Life Outside the Classroom
Despite what some may believe, there is life outside of the classroom and medical books. Because the stresses of school can consume a student, it is extremely important to make a conscious effort to balance and enjoy life. My life outside the classroom is mainly spent with my family, but I also enjoy hanging out with classmates. Even though time is limited, I still make sure to continue the hobbies I love, such as fishing, hiking, and tinkering on an old '86 4runner. One of the many bonuses of the area is that the surrounding landscape is beautiful, to say the least, and is an outdoor enthusiasts dream. Cherokee national forest surrounds the area with mountain trails, rivers, waterfalls, and all of the wildlife to go with it. Many students, including myself, take full advantage of this geography. Quillen is also less than an hour away from two ski resorts and has plenty of golf courses to choose from. If the outdoors isn't your thing, Johnson City has an abundance of shopping, dining, coffee houses, and a budding downtown area with a fun nightlife.
Words of Wisdom
Medical school is tough and sometimes stressful, but it is also fun and amazing. Make sure to meditate on your decision to become a physician, and chose the profession for the love of people and science. Once you have made this commitment, choose Quillen!
I do not yet consider myself qualified to give much words of wisdom, so I have included some quotes from what I consider, overly qualified resources.
Chorin 8:2 -The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts"- Churchill
"Desire without discipline breeds disappointment, but discipline without desire breeds drudgery"- Unknown
Phil 4:13- I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
Jer 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Heb 13:5- Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."