When Robert Hayden ’14 entered Hamilton he had med school in mind but kept himself open to other options in science and healthcare. He became interested in medicine early on through his mother’s physical therapy work with stroke patients. He was also drawn to medicine by his father’s battle with cancer and the modern therapies that cured him.
“Ultimately, I am training to become a doctor because I love the intimacy of direct patient care and the constant opportunity to use our growing body of medical knowledge to make a difference in someone’s life,” Hayden says. Long term, he plans to pursue an academic career that combines patient care with research and teaching.
As an undergraduate Hayden majored in biochemistry/molecular biology. Looking back at his Hamilton years, he remembers a community of incredibly supportive professors and the research opportunities and mentorship they provided him. “Hamilton could not have prepared me better for the challenges of med school,” he says, crediting more than just his science courses.
It wasn’t until he began med school that Hayden fully appreciated Hamilton’s emphasis on communication skills. “Oral presentations on rounds each morning, patient admission notes for the chart, research proposals for thesis projects — training to be a doctor constantly requires the ability to communicate effectively, and I am grateful to have developed confidence expressing myself while at Hamilton,” he says.