Biology major and Oberlin baseball team alum Lawrence Hamilton ’21 is finding success as a student at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. His post-Oberlin endeavors are a testament to his hard work and passion for the medical field.
What brought about your interest in the medical field?
I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. Growing up, my mom was a Broadway dancer and my dad was in Human Resources. It felt like the best of both worlds. When I was seven, my mom passed away from breast cancer. That was what got me into the medical field, going with her to appointments and her chemotherapy. I've always been interested in medicine since then.
How did your experiences at Oberlin inspire or inform your post-grad trajectory?
When I got to campus, I really wanted to play baseball, which I did for four years, but then I saw the Science Center and all the labs inside. I was really interested in all that. [Oberlin Baseball Coach Adrian Abrahamowicz] gave me a lot of flexibility to explore what I wanted to do after I graduated, maybe coming to practice late because I had a lab. I really thank him for that and still keep in touch with him. One of my med school advisors, Maureen Peters, was really helpful with my application process. That kind of camaraderie with the coaching staff and my professors helped propel me towards what I wanted to do. I also spent three months before junior year shadowing Dr. Frederic J. Guerrier at the Roser Park Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida, for shadowing hours as a pre-med student. It really helped me shape up my interpersonal skills by interviewing patients, seeing what they’re going through, and why they’re coming to the doctor for help. I was able to meet a wide range of people in Florida.
What has it been like so far at Wright State?
It’s been an interesting experience, but I’m enjoying it so far. People say the hardest part of medical school is getting in, and I can definitely see why. Right now, we’re reviewing a large volume of information in one to two weeks. It’s my first year, so we're mostly in the classroom, but when third and fourth years come around, I’ll start my clerkship where I’ll explore internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology services, and other areas to see what I really want to do. I’m excited for that, but right now I’m in the pediatric and family medicine interest group.
What advice do you have for Oberlin students who would like to pursue a career in the medical field?
Definitely get involved in both the lab and also in your community. Med schools are looking for someone who’s not just in the classroom. If you’re in school getting all As, that’s great, but they want somebody who is reaching out to their community as well. You’re going to be a people person talking to patients, so that’s what really helped me. My people skills really flourished at Oberlin because I met people from around the world, so I can relate to different types of people whom I meet.
What are your plans post-med school?
Right now, I’m just trying to get through, but I definitely plan to graduate and get a residency somewhere, possibly still in Ohio or maybe back in Florida or somewhere on the east coast. Right now, I’m between family medicine and pediatrics for my interest, so we’ll see what I end up doing. The ultimate goal is to match with a residency and become an intern there.
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