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Looking for Impact
What impresses you when you’ve already lived in Texas, Spain, and Guam, graduated from a 50,000-student university where you were the student advertising manager, and large advertising firms in New York City and Los Angeles are trying to woo you?
For Ryan Ford, a student in the Elms College post-baccalaureate pre-medical program, there are several answers. The program is open to students who have earned a B.A. or B.S. from an accredited college or university and need further undergraduate coursework to meet professional health program prerequisites. It draws students from all over the globe.
As a New England neophyte, Ryan finds a certain charm in his off-campus apartment building, a renovated nineteenth century sword factory in Chicopee Center. He loves his endocrinology class with Biology Professor Mary Wright ‘44, SSJ, Ph.D., and coming from the University of Texas, he appreciates the personalized feel of his small classes at Elms.
“I knew few of my professors at UT and here I’m friends with all of them. Well, I like to think I’m friends with all of them,” he said with a laugh.
Mostly Ryan is happy to be on track working towards what he feels will allow him to have the most significant impact on humanity–becoming a doctor.
A New Direction
Ryan worked hard building toward a career in advertising. After graduating from the University of Texas, he had several interviews lined up but decided to cancel them. Something didn’t feel right.
“It was the most extreme disenchantment I ever experienced,” he said. “I decided I was either going to do something to push the human race forward or preserve it. I chose to preserve it so I wanted to practice medicine.”
Since he didn’t have any of the required science courses to apply to medical school, the Texas native went on the American Medical College Application Services (AMCAS) website and looked for post-baccalaureate pre-medical programs. He found Elms College and applied before even setting a foot in the Bay State.
Learning to Adapt
Moving is nothing new to Ryan. The son of a military father, he spent his high school years in both Spain and Guam. As a business major, he’s also adapting well to his science courses.
“I love science. I think my interest in advertising boiled down to people in general and that’s at the basis of medicine. Science is the investigation of life,” he said.
Ryan is in the program’s two-year track and will graduate this May. Then he will take his MCAT before applying to medical school.
Ryan wants to be a trauma surgeon because, “That’s how I can have the most immediate impact on people’s lives.” Eventually he wants to open his own trauma clinic that services disaster areas around the world.