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Quillen College of Medicine Admissions

Student Affairs

Rachel Kowaleski


Program MD, Rural Primary Care Track

Hometown Blaine, TN

Undergraduate School and Major LMU- AS in Nursing, ETSU- Pre-requisites, Radford- BS in Nursing

Specialty / Career Plans Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Critical Care

Extracurricular Activities Spending time with the family, Gardening, Hiking, Golf

Marital Status Married with one child


Rachel Kowaleski

Please click here to email a question to Rachel


Why Quillen
There are multiple reasons why I decided to call Quillen home for the next four years.  I have received nothing but encouragement and support in my encounters with the faculty and staff, even before I started my application process.  The location of Quillen was also a major determining factor.  Anyone can see that Quillen is in a beautiful area, near mountains and close to lakes and rivers. There are also many highlights to Johnson City; including good educational opportunities and daycare options for children, nice restaurants, parks, and a Level 1 Trauma Center.  Campus is only a hop away from Asheville and Knoxville. Most importantly, the students at Quillen, while under the pressure of medical school, still emanated positive attitudes and were genuinely happy with their decision to attend Quillen.   

Being a Quillen Student
If you have a question, need extra help, want to be politically active, are interested in research, are feeling overcome by the stress of medical school, etc., there is a faculty member or fellow student that is more than willing to go out of their way to help you.  While medical school presents endless opportunities, it can also challenge your personal identity and can be mentally exhausting.  There is a huge emphasis at Quillen to not just succeed academically, but to maintain emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being.  The stress and challenges of medical school can either separate you emotional and physically from your family, friends, and classmates or be used as an opportunity to strengthen prior relationships and build new ones that will last a life time. 

Juggling School and Family
Being a mother has definitely made juggling school and family life harder.  I don't know how I would do it without a ton of support from my husband.  There are a lot of parents in my class, and we often talk about the stress of leaving our families at home in order to study.  Their encouraging words and support have helped me through my first year of medical school.  I have also received a lot of support from upper classmen with families.

Life Outside the Classroom
While most time outside of the classroom is spent preparing for the classroom, there are many options to stay actively engaged with the student body and local community. There are a lot of interest groups, yoga and spin classes at the library, intramural sports, volunteer options, and school events such as talent shows and formal balls. My main focus besides school has been my family.  Fortunately, there are a lot of family friendly events that Quillen offers.

Prior Life
Prior to becoming a medical student, I was a critical care nurse at Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, TN.  I was a registered nurse for seven years before starting medical school at Quillen and was very active in volunteering within my local community.  

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