Andrew Fontes, OMS II at Midwestern University-AZCOM Awarded $5,000 TOMF Founders' Scholarship

May 28, 2015 Fontes, OMS II from Tubac, plans to become a pediatrician and was a researcher prior to choosing medicine. "I chose osteopathic medicine because of its foundation in connecting with a patient instead of a disease," he says, adding that the most interesting discovery so far as a student has been the immense amount of respect given as he crosses from being a patient to a health care worker. "Volunteering this last summer in Guatemala, I was humbled by the level of gratitude the patients provided to each and every volunteer." We asked Andrew a few questions about his path to medicine, daily life as a medical student and his future endeavors as an osteopathic physician. Read on to find out more.

1. What is your hometown?
Tubac, AZ

2. What caused you to choose medicine as a career?
I have always been pursuing multiple passions towards research, teaching, and making people smile. Medicine, for me, is the place where all of my passions meet.

3. Which specialty do you plan to practice?

4. What does your typical school day look like?
The life for a second year medical student is spent primarily in the library with multiple books and the glow of a computer screen. Despite that, I always have dinner with my spouse and take a few laps around my garden to see what new veggies have popped up. My typical day starts and ends in my office, surrounded by sticky notes and boards study books. Lectures at Midwestern are mostly between 9am to 4pm, but the rest of my day is spent catching up on studying for our National Board exams. I am absolutely thrilled to begin my rotations in the Valley this July, marking the end to my didactic years at Midwestern University!

5. What qualities do you look for in a mentor or role model?
I have always admired leaders who never lose the desire to learn. I come from a family of strong educators who value the gift of knowledge.

6. As a mentor and role model yourself, what advice would you give to a student considering medicine as a career?
If medicine is your passion, your career will find you. I spent six years after my undergraduate degree discovering what my passions were. Those passions brought me to medical school and keep me motivated for long nights of studying.

7. What is the most interesting thing you've discovered so far in your medical training?
I have found it interesting the immense amount of respect people give you when you cross over from being a patient to a healthcare worker. Volunteering this summer in Guatemala, I was humbled by the level of gratitude the patients provided to each and every volunteer.

8. What are you most excited about doing after you become a physician?
As a medical student, we are a member of team where responsibility ultimately lies with our preceptors and mentors. The most rewarding and exciting moment I see in my future as a physician is the first time someone places their entire trust in me for the health of their child.

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