Meet our alumni: Colin Hart '19

Class of 2019

Major: Neuroscience with Honors

Activities at SLU: Public Health SYE focusing on health literacy in rural populations and whether or not public libraries can be used as a means to mitigate these gaps; Emergency Department Shadowing at Canton Potsdam Hospital; Health Coaches courses; Research assistant in Psychology lab with Dr. Adam Fox; Medical Scribe

Why did you choose SLU to start your pursuit of a health career?

I initially didn’t know I wanted to pursue a health career, but it really worked out when I eventually learned I wanted to go to med school because SLU is so tight-knit and personal—the amount of help and support from faculty is always there to help get you to where you want to go. Because the size is small enough, there are great academic resources and classes to utilize that gave me great opportunities and experiences that propelled me further into the field of medicine.

What SLU experience has helped you be successful in your professional program and/or current job?

I really think my public health based SYE was one of the most helpful things I was able to work on while at SLU. Not only was it a project I was really interested in and passionate about, which I was able to work on for the course of my senior year, it was elevated and expanded to places I never thought it would go. It got me in the community, researching the current state of the healthcare system in the U.S. and gave me a really solid foundation for the background knowledge you need in medical school when dealing with underserved populations.

What course(s) did you find most helpful in preparation for professional school academics?

Anatomy and Physiology—even though these weren’t required for medical school, I felt so far ahead of the game went we began the anatomy course in med school. So many anatomical terms and concepts I had already seen before, along with the physiologic processes that coincide with them. Compared to those who had said they had never taken an A/P course, I felt like I really lucked out.

What advice do you have for students pursuing a career in your particular field?

There is not a “one-size fits all” model for pursuing a health career, whether that be going to medical school (MD/DO), PA school, nursing, vet school, etc. There are boxes to check off for sure, but there is so much wiggle room in terms of all the things you can do which I feel like is not often realized—I skipped out on a whole lot because I was worried I had to do certain healthcare related things, and ended up not truly enjoying those experiences because I felt like I simply had to do them. Do the things you’re passionate about, even if it does not necessarily “check off a box”—admissions committees will see that passion and will notice that (likely more so than any other experience you did because you simply felt like you had to).

Any unique experiences so far?

In the program I’m in now, because we focus on underserved populations, we had the opportunity to visit a homeless shelter and prison to practice taking medical histories/interviews {of} the patients there. It was a really unique opportunity to learn how to interview these patients, but also to hear how navigating the healthcare system is completely different and challenging in ways we may not think of.