I would be happy to share my story, if you think it would be of interest to alumni. I do think it could be of interest to undergraduates, beginning with first year students. My story is one of optimism, that despite the world seeming to be in chaos, North Korean missiles aimed at Hawaii, the Chinese planning to either invade the West Coast, or simply buy it, and the Republic being on the verge of crumbling, you can still be successful.
When I left high school, Lawrence Central, Indianapolis, my plan was to go to law school. I liked the liberal arts, had courses my senior year in economics and psychology, taught by the same excellent teacher, Robert Schrenker, and made those my major and minor. I particularly enjoyed The Worldly Philosophers, by Robert Heilbroner. I felt well prepared by my high school, was able to focus, and did well in college. I enjoyed most of my courses. I had studied German, thought about continuing it, but after two or three semesters, that was enough.
I took the LSAT in the fall of 1970, and it is still the hardest exam I ever had. I have heard that a philosophy background is helpful. I applied to both IU law schools and was accepted. Toward the end of my senior year, I began to realize I that really didn't want to be a lawyer and declined the kind acceptances. So, now what? My draft lottery number was 214, relatively high, and Selective Service, in an effort to trim their list, gave us the opportunity to drop our deferments for one day at the end of 1970, and if we weren't drafted, we were no longer subject to the draft. I did that, and at the risk of sounding unpatriotic, I never had to worry about the draft again. So, at that point, I really had no constraints.
By the way, my college experience was not all work and no play. I was in a fraternity, ran on the track team (was on Sam Bell's first team, the 1970 Big Ten champs), was involved in the Interfraternity Council (Andy Mallor, Bloomington attorney, and owner of Andrew Davis Clothiers, was the President), and to a lesser extent the IU Foundation, and the Student Athletic Board. I thought briefly about getting a J-O-B, but quickly got over that.
I had two close friends, classmates, and fraternity brothers, who were in medical school at IU, Indianapolis, having gotten in after three years. I had been roommates with both of them over several semesters in the fraternity house, and thought that if they could do it, so could I, and besides, being a doctor seemed like a good idea. In addition, very near the end of my senior year, 1971, springtime on the Bloomington campus, I met a very attractive, and smart girl from St. Louis, who had been accepted to the University of Missouri medical school, in Columbia. It seems that for young men, if you probe deeply enough, there is always a woman involved.
We clicked and she and I both stayed in Bloomington for that summer, until she reinjured a knee, an old soccer injury, when we went out to one of the quarries one day. She went home to St. Louis for surgery. I last visited her that August, I moved back to Indianapolis, she went to Columbia, and I never saw her again. So, I moved back home, enrolled at IUPUI, and in the fall semester took Chemistry 101, Physics 101, and Zoology, as well as the MCAT. Coupled with my Bloomington transcript, I did well enough that fall to get a tentative acceptance to the IUSOM in February 1972. I took, Chemistry 102, and Developmental Anatomy, in the spring semester, but I didn't think I could handle Physics 102 with those two. I had taken a creative writing class my senior year in Bloomington, and enjoyed it, so I took another that spring.
Remember, this was the early seventies, and we boomers wanted to change the world, lift the downtrodden at home and abroad (Peace Corps, etc.), and end the Vietnam War. But some of us also thought it would be fun to be Ernest Hemingway, live in Paris, the 1950s Cuba, Key West, and Sun Valley. Fortunately, I was able to take Biochemistry, and Physics 102, at Butler, summer school, in four weeks each.
I then started medical school at IU, Indianapolis, in the fall of 1972, and graduated in 1976. The fact that I spent another year doing the pre-med requirements is why I made the comment in an email to Michael Kaganovich about having no regrets for being an economics major, not that I was sorry I had studied it. I was not very interested in science coming out of high school and doubt I would have been as successful at 18 as I was at 22. It really did work out.
After graduation in 1976, I stayed at the Medical Center for training, three years as an Internal Medicine Resident, and two years as a Gastroenterology Fellow. I finished in 1981, went over to Methodist Hospital, downtown Indianapolis, and practiced Gastroenterology there until I retired at the end of 2017. I live with my wife of 34 years, Mary, a nurse with a master's degree from IU, in Carmel. We have two grown daughters, the oldest lives in Chicago, and is a Nurse Practitioner with a DNP from Rush University, in Chicago. Interestingly, she went to St. Louis University, home of my 1971 friend. Even better, her husband, who is a Notre Dame grad, has a master's degree in economics from University of California, Davis. He then went to law school at Northwestern, worked for a large Chicago law firm for about seven years, and is now an in-house council. My youngest daughter is a 2014 IU Bloomington grad. And one of my former business partners, studied chemical engineering at Notre Dame, then decided to go to medical school, and had to do the pre-med courses, after that. He is also retired and a regular golf partner.
So, the moral of the story is go to class, go to the library, or wherever you can study without distraction, focus on your work, and don't get too caught up in what's going on around you. Get your degree, and the best GPA you can, because you might not end up doing what you thought you were going to do, and a shiny transcript might come in handy. I spent a lot of time in the Chemistry Library, which had carrels along the windows, great places to study, or take a quick nap. Well, I know this is much more than you wanted, but these are memories from almost 50 years ago, and once I got started, they just kept coming. Also, maybe there is something left of the Ernest Hemingway wanna be.