Andrew Eck, MS1

What inspired you to go to medical school?

      I was not a great student in high school. I enjoyed playing sports but was not sure what I wanted to do professionally after those 4 years. At the time, I knew I was not interested in going to college so I followed my dad and older brother’s footsteps; I joined the army after high school as a satellite communications operator. While on a tour in Afghanistan, my interest in muscle and body physiology arose after reading a book about exercise. Soon after, I began reading and learning about the brain and was fascinated by it. I had to make a decision to either become a career soldier or pursue a career in science. I made the choiceto pursue my passion in science, however, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it yet. I strived to do the best I could in my college classes and majored in biochemistry just so I could have a good chance of pursuing whichever route in science I decided to. I had the opportunity to shadowed a couple of orthopedic surgeons in Illinois. I witness powerful patient encounters through this opportunity, one in particular was a patient who was very emotional because she was able to walk again after her knee surgery. I knew I wanted to work as hard as I could to be able to make that sort of impact on others. I decided to pursue medical school and was fortunate to end up here in Houston.

What are / were your role models in medicine?

      Dr. Bottros and Dr. Braaksma were the first physicians that got me interested in orthopedic surgery when I was in Illinois. Dr. Fullick has been very generous with his time and allowed me to come shadow him multiple times. Dr. Toy and Dr. Fairbrother have been so positive, encouraging, and given great advice throughout this first year. Dr. Furr-Stimming has been a tremendous mentor in helping me with any problem or difficulty I have faced in my first year.

What is your favorite thing about UTHealth?

      My favorite thing about UTHealth is how caring and helpful the faculty is as a whole. They are always there for any questions I might have. They are so helpful regardless if I need help finding a research mentor, a physician to shadow, or just need cardiovascular physiology explained again.