Nathan L'Etoile, '16
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Briefly describe your experience in medical school.
I am a third year medical student who has been able to do clinical research as well as continue my extracurricular interests in music and singing. Medical school teaches someone how to be a doctor and how to be a student for life. The first two years are traditional education with lectures and demonstrations in a typical lecture hall. The second two years are what we all went to school for: seeing patients. On any given day as a third-year, I go to the hospital, round on patients in the morning, check labs and modify drug regimens to best care for the patient, and talk with patients in the afternoon. We see the operating room in the day as well as the ER at 2:00 AM, seeing what doctors see and learning how to think like one. It is an extremely rewarding experience and truly a privilege.
What resources did you use to help support your goal of attending medical school?
The greatest help I had was from my professors and advisors at SJU. The Biology, Music,and Chemistry departments were fantastic supports and resources to apply to medical college. Additionally, the health professions advisor, was extraordinarily helpful and supportive on this long but rewarding trip.
How did your SJU education impact your professional goals?
I have continued to live by Jesuit ideals, and they give me hope and strength in my toughest moments. To care for my whole self, I have continued with a cappella and also continued playing the piano. To be a man with and for others, I have volunteered at a local homeless shelter providing medical care with my classmates and spending time with children who are homeless to give them time to just be kids. I wouldn't love medicine as much as I do without the Jesuit education and the impact that the Jesuits and SJU have had on me.
What advice do you have for SJU students interested in attending medical school?
For those SJU students who are interested in medicine, take the Jesuit advice of Cura Personalis and do what you love. When I went on interviews, I didn't talk much about biology, but I did talk about music and a cappella and service at an oncology camp. These things were a total joy for me, and they are a joy for our patients when we can relate to them on a human level. Jesuit education also showed me that healing is very much when two people can connect and empathize with one another.