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Eric Stevens and lab partner use a microscope.

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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Eric Stevens '18

Galesburg, Illinois

Major in Biology, Minors in Chemistry and French

Recent alum discusses his summer, his time at Knox, and his plans for the future.

Eric Stevens and lab partner use a microscope.

Tell us a little about who you are in the Knox community.

I was a pre-med student at Knox, and I lived off-campus the entire time in my hometown of Galesburg. I am currently applying to medical school, and I will be doing a post-baccalaureate program in which I will be working with transfer and non-residential students, of which I was both.

Tell us about your most recent summer experience.

I just completed an internship at Jump Trading Simulation Center in Peoria, Illinois. I was fortunate to have a very hands-on experience that allowed me to develop important surgical and professional skills while also opening my eyes to innovative medical technology. I was able to work on cadavers in this program, which heightened my understanding of anatomy and also helped me improve my suturing skills.

Having the opportunity to work in clinical settings with patient actors was extremely valuable for practicing professional skills that are critical for effective physicians. What was most stunning to me, however, was the use of virtual reality to teach medical lectures. Having the ability to manipulate a human heart in 3D space while being told about the organ's physiological conduction pathways left me with a truly memorable experience. Virtual reality made the lecture enjoyable by creating a learning environment that simply was not textbook.

What's next?

I will also be doing the Rural Health Experience [this summer]. I have just received my schedule, and I will be able to shadow and network with many different medical specialties. As I have a desire to serve a rural community, I am hoping that the program will provide me with a solid understanding of how different rural healthcare teams function. I look forward to observing different specialties to examine the numerous options, but I am also interested in how these specialties adapt to rural settings. I am also shadowing outside of these two programs.

What factors influenced your selection of these programs?

The outstanding pre-med faculty at Knox have provided me with information on my internships. Being from Galesburg was my main motivation for applying to Jump because I wanted to see the medical innovation happening in my own area. My time shadowing a family physician really solidified my desire to become a doctor, but I wanted hands-on exposure that would provide me with useful skills I will one day need in medical school and beyond.  

How did you choose Knox?

Even though it was not very common among other Galesburg High School graduates, I really enjoyed the idea of staying in Galesburg. This area really means a lot to me, and getting to earn my bachelor's degree in my hometown was extremely special in that it further strengthened my bond to the community.

If the people in your high school class saw you now, what about you would surprise them?

My high school friends would definitely be surprised by my level of maturity and the extent to which I value diversity. I have had some friends tell me that they are impressed with how I conduct myself and how I actively attempt to advance myself academically, and I owe much of this to my time at Knox. Knox has made me eager to learn as much information as I can while also maintaining a responsibility to moral justice and inclusiveness. I am simply a more prepared and mature individual because of the great challenge that I was lucky to experience at Knox College.

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Knox College

https://www.knox.edu/profiles/stevens-eric-18

Printed on Friday, November 15, 2019