We Are Knox...
Steven Bachta '03
Physician, Pediatric Hospitalist
Seattle Children's Hospital
Bachta is a superhero. He rushes around the Seattle Children's Hospital
corridors in his white cape, making sure his patients are happy and healthy.
His instruments are simple and precise.
A former student of the Knox Early Identification/Admission Program to Medical School, Bachta was pretty certain about his career goals before even setting foot on Knox campus. Those goals are part of what made Knox such a perfect fit.
"The process of being admitted into medical school is extremely stressful, requiring a high GPA and exceptional MCAT scores. Certainly I received an excellent basic science education at Knox with the help of some of my favorite teachers of all time, including Janet Kirkley, biochemistry, and Diana Cermak, organic chemistry. But having the early admission program definitely relieved much of that 'pre-med' academic pressure and allowed me to explore interests outside of the classroom."
And explore he did. During his four-year tenure at Knox, Bachta was able to work in the Knox training room under the guidance of Scott Sunderland. He learned to take care of various sports-related injuries, a practice run that would come in handy throughout the course of medical school and his pediatrics residency at the University of Chicago Hospitals. He also played on the Prairie Fire tennis team, where he learned a lot about teamwork and leadership. But most important, he was able to enjoy Homecoming football, frat parties at Beta, nights out at Cherry Street, and Flunk Day. He was able to immerse himself in all facets of Knox life.
When asked to elaborate on his decision to come to Knox, Bachta's answer illuminates some of the best, but hard to verbalize, aspects of the Knox community. He says what really sold him on Knox, aside from the academic and scholarship opportunities, was the vibe he picked up on during his on-campus visit.
"Something about the familiarity and the simplicity of the place made the environment seem very comfortable. I felt like I could be myself, and the school would adjust to me. Unlike some of the other schools I considered for undergrad like University of Chicago and Northwestern, where there is a predetermined standard you feel the need to live up to, Knox felt more personal and interested in helping me live up to the standards I would set for myself."
Bachta says that from that first visit he felt that the contributions of each student really matter, that it's the collective whole -- the collective diversity of ideas and experience of the faculty, staff, and students -- that shapes what Knox is and what Knox can provide.
"In a country that seems obsessed with competition and overindulgence, I think my memories of the Knox lifestyle and community are what stick with me and are what I am most proud of today. It didn't matter who had the biggest TV or the newest phone at Knox -- it mattered who you were watching the game with and what you were talking about. At Knox earning a good grade for yourself wasn't nearly as fulfilling as helping someone else achieve their goals. And the fact that the same friends that congratulated me for getting into medical school 10 years ago are the same people who stood up in my wedding two months ago speaks to the fact that your Knox years may come to an end, but your Knox friendships are forever."