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Program Generalist M.D. Track
Hometown Smyrna, TN
Undergraduate School and Major Tennessee Technological University; Biochemistry
Specialty/Career Plans Something surgical (hopefully orthopedics); I am doing the Army Health Professions Scholarship Program and will do my residency at a military training hospital and then serve back 4-5 years.
Extracurricular Activities Working out at the Center for Physical Activity CPA (on-campus gym that students get access to), running, playing sports with classmates, playing with my 2 dogs, and going to the movies.
Marital Status Married over winter break of my 2nd year
Please click here to email a question to James
Initially, I wasn’t thinking Quillen. I had heard that the academics weren’t as strong. After interviewing at a handful of schools in-state and elsewhere, I quickly realized that this wasn’t true at all. Once I knew that the scores were excellent, and then heard from physicians across the state that Quillen produced great doctors, the decision was an easy one. I love the supportive environment where it seems like everybody from the Deans to the support staff knows who you are and is willing to stop and talk anytime. The smaller class size is also a huge plus to me. Last, but not least, the beautiful scenery of Johnson City always manages to take my breath away. I even proposed to my wife at nearby Roan Mountain because of the gorgeous sights.
Being a Quillen Student
Every day I think to myself how lucky I am to be at Quillen, where the professors genuinely care about each individual student and want us to succeed. I truly feel that I’m part of another family here. I never feel too bogged down with school work. There are definitely times where it gets a little tough, but nothing that can’t be handled with a little bit of hard work. I also enjoy the emphasis placed on patient interaction and how to really connect with people on a personal level; being a doctor isn’t always about the science behind medicine, often it’s about the humanism and comfort that we provide for healing, and Quillen engrains that in its students.
Juggling School and Family
As mentioned, the support system here is great and the faculty understand that many of us have families that need our time as well. They do a good job of making sure that we have the time to balance both and provide many resources to help us if we feel like we are getting overloaded with school. I started at Quillen the same time my girlfriend started nursing school at ETSU and since then we became engaged and then married while both in school.
Life Outside the Classroom
There is never a shortage of things to do in Johnson City, whether it’s going to the gym, taking a run at many of the great parks in the city, or going on a hike in the mountains. These activities also make studying a little easier as they provide great incentives after a long day/week of studying when we just need to unwind a little bit.
Words of Wisdom
Doug Taylor says it best when he says that “Quillen is the best school in the nation… for some people.” Take that to heart when trying to decide on where you want to spend 4 years of your life. Make sure you feel like you fit in with the students really well because medical school will be 4 of the hardest years of your life, but also some of the most rewarding and enjoyable if you do it with the right people.