Nick Coan: Sports, Travel and the Pre-Med Life at Gwynedd-Mercy College
Nick Coan found out he wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon by accident.
The injury occurred when Nick, a freshman in high school and ace lacrosse player, took a shot (and likely got hit at the same time) on the field. Nick continued to play through his pain after his trainer and multiple doctors couldn’t find anything broken. Two weeks later, Nick couldn’t extend his arm at all.
That’s when Nick went to an orthopedic surgeon who told him that he had broken the little bone in his elbow (and subsequently fractured the growth plate in his elbow). “He identified exactly what was wrong within less than five seconds and casted my arm in the right place,” says Nick. “It was impressive. I knew I wanted to pursue orthopedic medicine after that.”
A lifelong sports lover (lacrosse, soccer and swimming especially) Nick found out about Gwynedd-Mercy the summer before his senior year. The college’s lacrosse coach contacted him. Not long thereafter, the coach presented Nick with the opportunity to play (and serve as captain) on the Lacrosse Team. And something else stood out to Nick about Gwynedd-Mercy Collegetheir excellent reputation for placing students in medical schools. “My most important goal was to be an orthopedic surgeon,” stresses Nick.
“Personally, I was drawn to GMC because of the school’s reputation for getting students into medical school.”
By the time he began his classes, Nick faced a busy schedule but he was surrounded by a whole lot of friends. “It was great to enter college as the member of a team. I came in and had 40 instant friends.” Nick also had an advisor to keep him on the right academic track, particularly crucial for pre-med students, who must meet competitive criteria to enter medical school.
“We call my advisor Dr. B. (Dr. Barbieri) and she really set me up with everything I need,” says Nick. “Because of her, I pretty much know the classes I need to take for the next two years! And she helps me make contacts for internships and jobs.”
BTW: On top of a busy schedule, Nick (now a junior) is studying for the most daunting of graduate entrance exams. You guessed it, the MCATs. How does Nick manage it all? “Actually, I like that my time is all taken up. I get more done when I have more to do,” Nick shrugs with a smile.
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