September 22, 2017

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Medical School is the Right Path for Me

Luke Radel with fiancé Rachel LaCroix

Luke Radel is currently in his first year of medical school at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth.  He received a medical student scholarship in 2010 from Affiliated Community Health Foundation.

“I first discovered my interest in medicine when I took a health class at Redwood Valley Middle School instructed by Mr. Dave Madson. I found that I was so intrigued by the human body and Mr. Madson made class so interesting.  There have also been many other experiences along the way that helped me to realize that this was the right path for me.  I have shadowed physicians, volunteered and worked as a phlebotomist in the cities during college.

Dr. Tom Gross (a Family Medicine physician with ACMC in Redwood Falls) was a family friend of ours and was a great influence on my decision to become a doctor; he even delivered me when I was born.  As I started to express my interest in medicine, I was able to spend some time with Dr. Gross to see what being a doctor was like; he was a great teacher!  I was able to see how he interacts with his patients and how involved he was in the community as well.  I think he is a great role model and someday I hope I can do the same. I think it is important for physicians to be a part of the community they live in because it helps to get to know their patients in and out of the office setting.

Being a medical student has been a great experience for me and medical school has proven to be so rewarding compared to undergraduate school.  Medical school is great because there are 59 other students that I interact with that have the same passion that I do; it makes studying and school in general more exciting and pushes me to work hard!  The hours you have to put into medical school can sometimes make life more challenging, I wish I could spend more time with my fiancé but we both realize that the sacrifice now is worth the future outcome so we make the best of the situation.  When I get done with medical school, I know I will have a large debt load and I was so grateful to receive scholarship money from ACMC to help me with these expenses.

Medical school is great because there are 59 other students that I interact with that have the same passion that I do; it makes studying and school in general more exciting and pushes me to work hard!

As I think about my future and what I want to do after medical school, right now my interest would lead me towards becoming a family practice physician and I know that I want to be in a rural setting.  I just think there would be more opportunities to have a broader scope of practice in a rural community; I could get into OB, ER and have a variety of experiences rather than living in the metro area and becoming more of a specialist.

I would love to one day return to Redwood Falls; I think it was a really great place for me growing up and I feel that the opportunities I had helped to make me who I am today.  My parents and siblings are also there and if it worked out that there was an opening for a physician, I could definitely see myself there.”