Jesse Smith had a non-traditional path to medical school. “Prior to moving to Minnesota, I was living in California and teaching biology,” says Jesse. “I had some experience in healthcare in an even previous career as an acupuncturist, and had been pursuing medical school for a little over ten years.”
Jesse always wanted a career in medicine, but didn’t have a clear idea of how to do it when he was younger– so instead, he pursued alternative medicine.
“After I got into the program and started to work in that field I realized that it was actually traditional medicine that I wanted to do,” he says. “But I had quite a bit of work to get ready for medical school, so I actually ended up going back and getting a master’s degree in biology.”
Upon completion of his master’s degree, he conducted research for several years. “It made me realize that while the research component was fascinating, it was missing that human component that drove me to medicine in the first place,” says Jesse.
Once he finished the program, he started filling out applications to medical school.
“I applied to many schools, but the University of Minnesota Medical School was very high on my list. Getting the chance to interact with current students and faculty really confirmed that UMN had the sort of learning environment I was looking for,” he says.
The White Coat Ceremony is something Jesse has been patiently awaiting for over a decade.
“It’s just such a symbolic rite of passage into this field that was so challenging for me to get into, but was the only thing that I’ve ever really wanted,” says Jesse. “So, you know, the White Coat Ceremony is just this point that all medical students have to pass through to be initiated into this field. I have just been anticipating the day for so long and now it’s almost here. I couldn’t be more excited.”