Chrissy O'Hara

Program 
2011 Graduate 

Hometown
North Pole, AK

Undergraduate School and Major
West Point, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Psychology

Specialty/Career Plans
Undecided- I enjoy ER scenarios

Extracurricular Activities
Running, people watching, skating, shooting, playing piano

Marital Status
Single, in a long distance relationship

Chrissy O'Hara
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Why Quillen
I could go on and on about this. I am an AK resident and AK does not have a medical school. Therefore, I used a combination of Google and AMCAS to determine the medical schools I was going to apply to, which included a single state med school (I figured the majority of my schools would have to be private since I wasn't a state resident anywhere it counted). I went through all 50 states and this is the one I chose, so rest assured, you are coming to a GREAT school. When I came for interview day, I was literally blown away. You'll feel a warmth here that cannot be faked, mistaken, or missed. It’s from everyone, guys, from the president to the janitors to the teachers. Everyone pushes you but everyone supports you while you're grunting it out. The ground floor truth of life is that PEOPLE make you happiest and saddest in life. That said, this school will make you thrilled.

Words of Wisdom
I echo TJ on this on. Do your homework when applying and deciding. Inevitably, you are the final authority on your destiny.
Med school is what you make of it. Have a healthy fear of it, but come into it with the steady mentality that you will also emerge from it in 4 years. It takes a lot of effort to get to the day where your acceptance letter comes in the mail. Never forget that day. School may be hard but from that point on, you are literally living the dream.

Life Outside the Classroom
Again, this comes back to the people you choose to surround yourself with. My class embodies the phrase "work hard, play hard." Sure, we study, but we also have more than our fair share of a good time. Trust me. Plus, if we happen to get stressed out, the faculty or another member of "The Family" will always ground us again. For example, I had opened another layer in the neck during cadaver lab a few weeks ago and allowed this shred of internal monologue to slip out; "Yikes-there's more?" Dr. Kwas smiled and said; "So what? What else would you be doing if you weren't learning?" Touche- he's absolutely right. It doesn't get any better than this.

Living in NE TN
I've been to a great many places in this world and I've noticed that underneath it all, at every place, the core of people remains the same. Everyone has problems and everyone wants to be loved. This is a constant. Yet there are a few places that are unique and have superseded that baseline quota; TN hits the top of the list. It may not be apparent to you if you believe in Maslow's Pyramid and the satisfaction that awaits at the top, but live here for more than a day and you'll see the quality of the people, regardless of income or other superfluous details. The seasons are also beautiful here-each one very powerful. Eastern TN makes it easier to remember that there is more to life than medical school.