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TJ Seneker

M.D., Year I
Rural Primary Care Track - Mountain City

Knoxville, TN

Undergraduate School and Major
Furman University

Specialty/Career Plans
Family Practitioner, work in rural areas and third world countries

Extracurricular Activities
Rock climbing, trail running, backpacking, reading, playing the banjo

Marital Status
Single, in a relationship

TJ Seneker
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Why Quillen
I love the region and being in the mountains. I was particularly interested in the rural primary care tract and impressed by the fact that Quillen ranks so highly for rural medicine. It felt like a relaxed and tight knit community when I visited for my interview. Most importantly, their approach to teaching medicine and mission as a school is in line with my philosophy of focusing on the underserved populations in health care.

Words of Wisdom
Do your research, but I would go to the school that you feel most comfortable with. Some place where you think you could be happy, because why would you want to be miserable and be in medical school at the same time, that's a rough combination. It is important to know what you value before choosing. Do you have to have a Marble Slab Creamery or will TCBY be sufficient? Medical school is more work than you can imagine, so think about what kind of support you will have in different places, be it family, friends, or faculty, because you can't do it alone. Try to think about what kind of doctor you want to be, not just specialties, but what kind of person who just so happens to be a doctor. There are differences in the philosophies of medical schools about training doctors for specialties, but also for the whole humanity thing. I urge to consider both.

Life Outside the Classroom
It is certainly tough finding a balance between school work and extracurricular activities. For me, getting outside and exercising is very important. Luckily, there is a lot of that close by in Johnson City. No matter how much work I need to do, scheduling in healthy break times is critical, so I may sacrifice an hour or two a day from studying to go for a run in the mountains, but it is worth it for both my physical and mental health. I also really enjoy hanging out with my fellow classmates outside of school, just going over to people's houses or apartments and having dinner or watching a movie. In reality there is not much free time outside of school, but it is definitely easy to relax and have fun in your limited time.

Being a Quillen student
There is definitely a family atmosphere at Quillen. With only 60 students, everyone gets to know each other well and you can always get help from professors or staff. Among students, it is not a cut throat competitiveness; everyone wants to see each other do well. We share useful study guides that individuals make available to the whole class via email and there is always someone to study with be it anatomy or genetics. Despite the amount work that has to be done, medical school is still a lot of fun. We go out to eat together, have parties, play intramural sports, and laugh a lot.

Living in NE TN
Like I said the mountains are great. Everything cool in NC like Asheville and skiing is only about one hour away. There is excellent hiking and mountain biking even closer. In actuality, Johnson City itself does not have a whole lot to offer as a city. There are some good restaurants and a few places to see live music, but ETSU also brings in interesting events and shows. Overall, it’s a pretty typical small southern city, which includes a slower pace of life and friendly people, but perhaps not the excitement of big metro areas. Yet, it is a cheap place to live.

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