Meet Gregory de Roo
First-year medical student at ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine
Gregory de Roo, 34, was born in South Africa. He spent 25 years there earning a business law degree before moving to the United States in January 2010 to work for his family’s newly purchased company in Murfreesboro. When his father fell ill, de Roo ran the company, but promptly resigned two years later when his dad recovered, noting, “I was dissatisfied with that job.” At the time, his wife was readying to go to a pre-medicine meeting at Middle Tennessee State University and de Roo decided he would come along. It is there that he discovered his next career path was in medicine.
Medicine was something I had wanted to do for a very long time. Growing up in South Africa, I wasn’t able to do that for many reasons. So I was faced with a decision of finding an alternative career. I chose one that would give me the opportunity to emigrate out of the country at a later stage, which was always a desire of mine. Then, I went to that meeting with my wife, just sitting with her for support while she was talking with a pre-med advisor, and it became evident that I would still like to do this.
Why the ETSU Quillen College of Medicine?
This was our first choice from the beginning in terms of medical schools. It was an easy choice, really. It was the family orientation; it was the feeling that you get when you come here. The facilities Quillen has are amazing. The school, the staff, just the people that I encountered from day one were amazing. It started with the admissions office. They do a great job at admissions, but beyond that, they do a great job at being people. They are truly caring and so inviting. It just felt like I could contribute to this school and it is a school that I could do well in and be able to give back to.
What are your goals and your future plans?
My goals right now are to survive medical school. I’m not sure which direction I will take at this point. It is looking like family medicine or pediatrics or something like that. Once I’ve graduated, I hope to do residencies in the area somewhere. Right now, I’m just focused on becoming the best doctor I can be.
What is your philosophy on life?
For me, my philosophy starts with my personal faith. Christianity is an integral part of that. So I just do the best I can to hold all of the tenets as close to my heart as I can.
Tell us something people might not know about you.
I was a league squash player in South Africa. I used to play a lot of squash, which is kind of similar to racquet ball but not quite.
Note: de Roo’s wife, Megan, currently is in the medical school application process and hopes to join the next class of medical students at Quillen College of Medicine. Together, the couple has one daughter, McKenzie, age 3.