Daniel Maas, OMS II at Midwestern University-AZCOM, Awarded $5,000 TOMF Founders' Scholarship
June 6, 2016
Daniel Maas was born into a military family in London, England, but this OMS II from Midwestern University-AZCOM has called Tucson home since 1998. After beginning his undergraduate degree with “the full intention of doing computer sciences,” he found he much preferred chemistry. After changing majors to Biochemistry, he interned at a local emergency department, fell in love with medicine, and has “been pursuing it ever since.” A rigorous school schedule, including studying for board examinations for 12 hours a day over the past month, has contributed to Daniel learning “more in the last two years than I have in the last 23 combined.” With all this knowledge, he’s excited to begin his career in Emergency Medicine or as a medicine hospitalist, work as part of larger inter-professional team, and help people. Daniel is surprised by his new-found abilities and “how far along I’ve come since this journey began.”
1. What is your hometown?
I was born in London, England when my father was stationed there in the military, but I began living in Tucson, Arizona in 1998 and it has since been the place I call home.
2. What caused you to choose medicine as a career?
I feel I differ from most people about how I came to medicine as a career. I actually began my undergraduate degree with the full intention of doing computer sciences, to become a programmer or something similar. However, I quickly found out I didn't like being at the computer all day and was excellent in my chemistry courses. I changed my major to Biochemistry and naturally found myself enrolling for an internship in a local emergency department. After working there for a summer, I fell in love with it and have been pursuing medicine ever since.
3. Which specialty do you plan to practice?
I currently am aiming to practice in emergency medicine or as a medicine hospitalist.
4. What does your typical school day look like?
As I am writing this, I just finished up my second year of medical school. My typical day up to now consisted of waking up early and making a large pot of coffee and breakfast; without food I don't function well. After that I would attend lectures from 8 o'clock to anywhere from 2 to 5 in the evening, depending on the day of the week. I would come home and of course eat again, but would regularly find myself studying until 10 or 11 in the evening. The last month I have been studying for my board examination and have been studying about 12 hours per day. Of course, my schedule will look quite different as I am starting rotations in a week.
5. What qualities do you look for in a mentor or role model?
A mentor or role model can be found in anyone. I particularly look for someone who is willing teach and to give advice without expecting anything in return.
6. As a mentor and role model yourself, what advice would you give to a student considering medicine as a career?
I would definitely say to a student considering medicine as a career: make sure you want to do this for the right reasons. It is a difficult road to take and have seen people struggle because their heart isn't in the right place. If you are looking for money or prestige, you won't find the satisfaction you are looking for in medicine. If you are looking to be a leader, a professional, and most importantly, someone to help others when they need it most, then medicine is right for you.
7. What is the most interesting thing you’ve discovered so far in your medical training?
The most interesting thing I've discovered... That's a tough a question. I have learned more in the last two years than I have in the last 23 combined. What I can say is the most surprising thing I have learned is about myself. No matter how hard things have seemed, no matter how late I have to stay up, I have learned that perseverance can go along way. I have been surprised by my abilities each day and how far a long I have come since this journey began.
8. What are you most excited about doing after you become a physician?
To take a vacation. Just kidding. I am most excited to finally be out of academia and to begin my career. As fun as taking notes all day in class can be, I got into this to see patients. I am excited to see and help people, to work as part of a larger inter-professional team, and to finally put all of this knowledge to use.