NOVEMBER 12, 2014 – A senior human science major at the School of Nursing & Health Studies says an early experience volunteering as a coach for a wheelchair softball team in New Jersey helped form his desire to pursue a career in medicine.
“This sheer power that medicine has to transform disabilities and the rewarding feeling that I get when my team succeeds is my inspiration for the path ahead,” says Blake Meza (NHS’15), who is currently in the process of interviewing for medical school.
Sports Injury Prevention
Having considered everything from being a team physician to creating a nonprofit organization to support wheelchair athletes, Meza became interested in sports injury prevention while working on a research project for his “Senior Internship” course.
For his final project, Meza, who is an avid fan of Georgetown athletics, will analyze potential behavioral and demographic risk factors for Tommy John surgery (a treatment designed to restore stability of the elbow) in Major League Baseball pitchers.
In addition to his research interests, Meza says that serving as a peer advisor has played a central part in defining his life in Georgetown. He is currently one of the peer coordinators who leads this program.
His own peer advisor helped him with everything from choosing coursework and navigating the pre-med path, to renting a refrigerator his first year.
“As a sophomore, I knew that I wanted to help first-year students in a similar way,” says Meza, who was recently recognized for outstanding student achievement at the seventh annual Convocation of Georgetown University Medical Center.
Through this work, Meza says he learned how to delegate roles and coordinate the opinions of all group members to come to a decision, when to step up to be a leader, and when to let others lead.
One of the biggest benefits from the experience for Meza has been working closely with a team of other students and staff, especially Doug Little, MS, senior assistant dean at NHS.
“Doug has served as an advisor to me with so many things – academics, the medical school process, peer advising planning, life,” Meza says. “It is the relationships that make the NHS such a wonderful community that I cannot begin to imagine departing from in May.”
By Masha Mikey (S’15)