By: Shajira Mohammed
Kevin Hord graduated from UGA this past May with degrees in both Biochemistry and Management. He is a first-year medical student at Emory University School of Medicine and plans on obtaining an MD/MBA degree. Kevin shared his experiences as a pre-med student at UGA.
What are your career goals?
I am actually interested in a field called personalized medicine. As a relatively new idea, it focuses on tailoring treatment for each patient based on his or her genetic, environmental, and clinical information.
What activities were you involved in during your time UGA?
I joined AMSA [the American Medical Student Association Club] when I was a freshman, and it is the activity that I was the most involved with during college. Last year, I started fundraising for a clinic where I shadowed which was having budget shortfalls. I just decided to start collecting toilet paper, paper towels, and such necessities that most of us generally take for granted. We collected almost two hundred rolls of toilet paper through AMSA. After the fundraising event, I become the community service chair for AMSA and helped students find volunteering opportunities that spoke to them.
Another thing that I am quite proud of is that during one of my shadowing experiences, I worked with a radiation oncologist. He had a friend who had prostate cancer and was expected to die within six months. He went through a very radical treatment that was completely diet and exercise based. His prostate cancer then stopped, the cancer growth reversed, and he is still alive today. While I was working for this doctor, I looked up some studies and found that following good nutrition and exercise patterns lower prostate cancer in the experimental group, whereas the control group’s cancer expanded. I took a public health approach and made a booklet and distributed it to all his patients.
What classes helped you the most?
I have had a lot of classes that really made a difference in my life. For preparing me for medical school, I would say VPHY 3100, because I feel like it is most related to human health. I would also say BCMB 3100, because it deals a lot with metabolism and how we work.
How did you prepare for the MCAT?
I actually didn’t take a prep course, because I feel that courses are good for keeping people on track. If you are not a person who can motivate yourself to study, then it is a great way to keep you on track. Otherwise all the resources you need are out there. The best way to learn is through practice. I think the Examkrackers 1001 series is good. Most of the information is what you know from your pre-med classes. With practice, you will be able to recall the information better and faster. Another piece of advice I would give is that you need to treat your preparation for the MCAT like a six-hour course. I took the MCAT in August, so I used that summer to prepare for it.
What was the wisest thing that you did that helped you be where you are today?
I read Abraham Lincoln’s biography while I was a sophomore in college. Lincoln is a great person to read about if you are interested in going into a highly respected profession. He is somebody who truly acted with benign intention in everything that he did. He tried to help people in his every action. There is a famous quote in which he said, “I shall do nothing in malice. What I deal with is too vast for malicious dealing.” It kind of calls back to the doctor’s idea of “do no harm;” it is such a great way to live your life, and that’s certainly the way I want to live my life. I am not always going to do the right thing, but my intent is always to try to do the right thing. At the end of the day, that is how I live my life. I am not perfect, I will make mistakes, but my intent has always been to try to do make the right decision. One suggestion I would give is to try and read a biography about someone in your free time. There is something about reading about someone from the beginning to end of his or her life that really puts things into perspective, and it shows how no matter where you are in life, there is still always a chance to build yourself up and redeem yourself.