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Alumni Corner

To our alumni:
This alumni corner is set up so that current undergraduate students at Binghamton can find out more about varied careers and paths toward those careers that you have taken. If you are willing to share your experience, please contact annatan@binghamton.edu.


IAN WENDEL - Medical Student

In college I knew I was going to become a veterinarian. I took all of the pre-vet classes, worked at a small animal hospital, applied to veterinary school but did not get in. Knowing I needed to strengthen my application, I worked for an equine veterinarian and reapplied. During this process, I realized that veterinary medicine was just not for me.

I shadowed a couple of physicians, and found that this is what I wanted to do. This is what I could see myself doing for the next forty years. So, I applied to a couple of medical schools and got into one. In the meantime, I needed a job. I worked for eight months or so with Sanofi Aventis as a research assistant in a multiple sclerosis lab. I found the work interesting, but I knew I could not do this for the rest of my life.

Currently, I am a second year at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. I am really happy with my decision to pursue a career as a physician and am extremely excited about the future. I am also glad that I went the osteopathic route. Osteopathic physicians, or DO's, have the same practicing rights as MD's, as well as learn manual medicine techniques called Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM). Also, osteopathic medical education takes a very holistic approach to heath care by stressing that the body is interrelated and ailments in one organ system can affect other organ systems as well.

Some advice that I would offer to students interested in a biological field. Experience a couple of different disciplines before committing yourself to a career. Do research with your professors at Binghamton and shadow physicians. Gain experience. It is perfectly fine to take a year off from school if you feel you need time to decide. I can't tell you the number of my classmates that were sure they were going to become physicians and then decided to switch to another field. Also, take challenging classes. Some of the upper level bio's including biochemistry, animal physiology, and microbiology have helped me out so much in medical school. From my education at Binghamton, I gained a good base of key principles that have really allowed me to absorb and understand lectures at medical school. But my most important advice is to have fun. You only get to experience undergrad once. Remember that you are receiving a superb education at Binghamton. You can go into any field you choose. Don't stress out about deciding on a career. You will find your way and also find many of your fellow alumni in whatever field you go into. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at ian.wendel@lecom.edu.

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Last Updated: 5/5/09