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More than 100 alumni shared why they love IU School of Medicine and provided advice for the incoming class of 2025.

Passing the Torch: Alumni advice for new med students

Headshots of ten alumni
More than 100 alumni shared why they love IU School of Medicine and provided advice for the incoming class of 2025. As the largest medical school in the country, IU School of Medicine boasts the largest alumni network in the country. Due to the overwhelming response, this multi-part series will summarize their key takeaways for success in medical school
Headshot of John Andrew

John Andrew

Graduation Year: 2020

Specialty: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Whey They Are Now: Charlotte, NC

Why They Love IU School of Medicine: The medical resources at IU School of Medicine are impressive. Upon moving away after graduating, I realized that it is not common to have so many hospitals with so many services in such close proximity. The training you get at IU can be tough, but it is well-balanced and effective.

Best Piece of Advice: Dedicate time--meaningful time--to actually celebrate everything you accomplish, even the little things: getting through one exam, accurately ascertaining a patient's medical history, helping close in the OR, etc. Medical training can often feel like you're never getting any better, but you are. Celebrate yourself.

Headshot of Richard Reifenberg

Richard Reifenberg

Graduation Year: 1996

Specialty: Internal Medicine/Pediatrics

Where They Are Now: Indianapolis, IN

Why They Love IU School of Medicine: I feel very blessed to have trained at IU School of Medicine. It is a large school, and so you have the benefit of so many available resources, especially the large number of excellent roles models and teachers you will encounter. While there are a lot of students in the class, through small groups you can meet and really get to know other students for the mutual support and camaraderie that is so important during those four years. 

Best Piece of Advice: Work hard, but pace yourself. There is more knowledge to learn than any human could possibly do, so just do your best and try to prioritize the important concepts. Every year of medical school has more clinical and "real world" focus, meaning every year is better. Just get through year one then focus on year two, and so on and the rest will take care of itself. Having the skills to take care of the some of the most important needs of others is a blessing and privilege. I graduated from IU 25 years ago and it prepared me to be a caring and competent doctor, and I continue to be grateful every day for this gift. Good luck through your own journey!

Headshot of Barry Heller

Barry Heller

Graduation Year: 1979

Specialty: Emergency Medicine

Where They Are Now: Long Beach, CA

Why They Love IU School of Medicine: Hands on clinical experience. I felt so much better trained in actual clinical work than most of my colleagues in internship.

Best Piece of Advice: When you see a patient or condition or illness during your rotations, take the time to read about it that same evening. This will better cement the information and learning because you can relate it to a specific patient.

Headshot of Jamie Kondis

Jamie Kondis

Graduation Year: 2006

Specialty: Child Abuse Pediatrics

Where They Are Now: St. Louis Children's Hospital at Washington University School of Medicine

Why They Love IU School of Medicine: All of the great activities that students can join! Lots of really interesting organizations.

Best Piece of Advice: Don't feel like you need to decide on your specialty too early. Take time to enjoy all of your clinical rotations before deciding.

Headshot of A. Clinton White

A. Clinton White

Graduation Year: 1982

Specialty: Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease

Where They Are Now: University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX; Collaborative research center Cusco, Peru

Why They Love IU School of Medicine: I was inspired by the dedicated physicians surrounding me at IU. I especially appreciated the commitment to international work.

Best Piece of Advice: Pursue learning not just passing tests. Make the effort to try things outside of the mainstream of training. My interest was already in what is now called global health. IU permitted me to do electives in India, the London School of Tropical Medicine and Boston.

Headshot of William Fulton

William Fulton

Graduation Year: 1958

Specialty: Neurology

Where They Are Now: Indianapolis, IN

Why They Love IU School of Medicine: Patient variety provides background knowledge.

Best Piece of Advice: Read texts. Utilize the library, and know your patients. Make medicine a lifetime enjoyable experience.

Headshot of Neil Wanee

Neil Wanee

Graduation Year: 1984

Specialty: Family Medicine

Where They Are Now: Access Family Health in Smithville, MS

Why They Love IU School of Medicine: A comprehensive basic science and anatomy foundation which will prove more valuable than you can imagine when you are actually practicing medicine.

Best Piece of Advice: Listen to your patients! On day one of medical school, one of our professors said, "Listen to your patients. and 90% of the time, they will tell you what's wrong with them." I have found in my nearly 34 years in practice that patients want this more than anything from their physician.

Headshot of Diana Lozano

Diana Lozano

Graduation Year: 1993

Specialty: Internal Medicine

Where They Are Now: Harlingen, TX

Why They Love IU School of Medicine: Diversity in learning from family outpatient clinics, hospital setting and research.

Best Piece of Advice: Your experiences make you who you are and will become, so dive in, and get started.

Headshot of Terry Hatch

Terry Hatch

Graduation Year: 1970

Specialty: Pediatrics, Gastroenterology Education and Nutrition

Where They Are Now: UICOM, Carle Foundation, Nutritional Sciences-UIUC, Champaign-Urbana, IL

Why They Love IU School of Medicine: Breadth of medicine and surgery, work with alumni

Best Piece of Advice: Prepare, fully engage, ask questions. Get fully informed about the future of medicine, your choice of a practice discipline, and the nature of settings in which you will spend your career. Change directions if needed.

Headshot of Vernita Tucker

Vernita Tucker

Graduation Year: 1985

Specialty: Obstetrics-Gynecology

Where They Are Now: Nashville, TN

Why They Love IU School of Medicine: Being prepared to enter residency with confidence. Firm sound exposure to basic sciences so that transition to clinical medicine flowed naturally.

Best Piece of Advice: Remember there are no throw away courses. If you learn and understand the basics- advances in medicine will seem an expansion of attained knowledge.

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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