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From Exercise Science to Medical School: A Non-Traditional Medical School Story

  • By: Brianna Kudisch
  • Published: Jul 31, 2019 9:30AM

Jordan Hunsberger (’18) came into Taylor as a declared Exercise Science major, and graduated with his Exercise Science degree and a new ambition to get into medical school. After taking a gap year, Hunsberger has been accepted into two medical schools, Nova Southeastern University in Florida and Rocky Vista University in Colorado.

He plans to start medical school in the fall and claims his choice for the non-traditional path to medical school was largely influenced by the Kinesiology department at Taylor.

“Nearly every school I interviewed with was genuinely intrigued by the fact that many of my meaningful experiences and academics were within or a part of an Exercise Science [program],” he said. “They were very interested in how this path led to my interest in medicine, and I loved being able to talk about how such experiences and academics led to my decision in pursuing medicine.”

At the end of his sophomore year, Hunsberger debated between possible careers as a physical therapist and a physician’s assistant and instead decided to pursue medical school. His brother experienced some health issues, which affected his career decision to become a doctor. However, he wanted to stick with his Exercise Science major since he was really enjoying his classes and the programs he participated in.

That decision worked in his favor, since the medical school interviews gave Hunsberger the opportunity to talk about his background and experiences in the department. While at Taylor, Hunsberger was heavily involved in the personal training program, called Fit Into Health, a cardiac rehab program through Blackford Hospital, and a pediatric program with Dr. Matthew Renfrow.

“You take all these classes and, after a while, it can be a little burdensome. So it’s nice to actually have hands-on things to do,” he said. “And not only was that good for me, but [the schools] really look at that to have experience.”

Hunsberger applied to 15 medical schools, was invited to interview at seven schools, and decided to attend four of those interviews. He’s still waiting to hear back from Indiana University and has been waitlisted at Campbell University in North Carolina. While he’s not completely positive of his final decision, he said he’ll most likely be picking Nova Southeastern, although an acceptance from IU could possibly change his decision.

He currently works as an EMT for an ambulance service and, since he enjoyed his personal training work at Taylor so much, a part-time personal trainer at an LA Fitness—both of which he believes helped strengthen his medical school application.

“I don’t know what my application would have looked like without those experiences in exercise science,” he said, “It probably would’ve looked a little dull.”

And after much hard work and waiting to hear back from schools, Hunsberger feels grateful to have been accepted into medical school, knowing there isn’t necessarily one set route to becoming a doctor. He hopes to encourage students who want to get into medical school to stick with it and just make their applications their own stories.

“[These] acceptance[s] have been a huge relief. For after such a long and stressful process and years of dedication and determination, I feel like I have reached one of the biggest milestones of my life thus far,” he said. “And though it feels like I have reached my ultimate dream, I know it is just the beginning of a continued journey and will that God has for my life.”