Michael Danko, '04, MD, The Ohio State University, Anesthesiologist

My undergraduate experience at Ashland University was four of the best years of my life. I actually met my wife, Kristen Luebrecht, during our sophomore year in Dr. Posner’s pre-medicine anatomy and physiology course! From the soccer field to the classroom, I have a lot of fond memories from AU. I would also like to thank Dr. Posner for being an excellent advisor and for continuing to be a great friend. Go Eagles

Why did you choose Ashland University for your pre-professional program?
In high school I had an idea that I may eventually wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. However, I actually chose to go to Ashland University primarily because I wanted to play soccer for the Eagles.

Where did you complete your graduate program?
After AU, I obtained my doctor of medicine degree at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. From there, I moved down to Cincinnati and completed an anesthesiology residency at the University of Cincinnati. I am also currently in the middle of a one-year subspecialty fellowship for pain management at UC.

How did your pre-professional program help prepare you for your graduate program?
My course load at Ashland was very helpful in providing me with a solid foundation of knowledge in the sciences. I felt that attaining this knowledge base was particularly useful when I took the medical school entrance exam (MCAT) and during my initial medical school courses.

What did you like most about your pre-professional program (certain classes, research, faculty, etc.)?
The faculty members in the science department were excellent and prepared me well for the future. Dr. Posner was my faculty advisor and he was an excellent resource throughout my education. The opportunity to perform research with Dr. Posner was also a key learning opportunity during my time at Ashland.

How did Ashland University help you when searching for and applying to graduate schools?
The faculty was very helpful with writing recommendation letters for my applications. They were also helpful when I was deciding which programs to apply to and which interviews to take.

What type of work are you doing in your current position?
I have recently completed a residency in anesthesiology and I am currently in the process of completing a one-year fellowship in pain management. My career goal is to find a position in which my clinical time will be divided relatively evenly between anesthesiology and pain management. I am currently interviewing for permanent positions and I hope to make a final employment decision soon!

Did Ashland University help you reach your career goals? If so, how?
Ashland definitely helped me to reach my career goals. The curriculum afforded me the opportunity to establish a strong knowledge base in the basic sciences. I was then able to use that knowledge to perform well on the MCAT and then later during the entry-level courses in medical school.

Were you involved in research as an undergrad at Ashland? If so, what kind, and how did it prepare you for graduate school and for your career?
I spent the summer between my junior and senior years at Ashland researching heat shock proteins with Dr. Posner and I also continued some of this research during the academic year. As one might expect, scientific research and the practice of medicine overlap significantly. It is practically impossible to be a good physician without being able to comprehend and interpret scientific literature. It is also important to understand research methodology when interpreting medical literature. I developed my foundation for that skill set while performing basic science research at AU.

How satisfied are you with your overall pre-professional program experience at Ashland University?
I am very satisfied with my overall pre-professional program experience at AU. I have been able to achieve all of my major career milestones so far and it all started in the Kettering Science Building.

What would you tell a prospective or current student about the pre-professional programs at Ashland University?
Ashland University has all of the resources necessary to help you pursue the professional program of your choice. My classmates in medical school came from a wide variety of pre-professional programs. My course load from Ashland University enabled me to be equally or more prepared for the rigors of medical school when compared to the majority of my medical school classmates.

My wife is also a 2004 graduate from Ashland University and she went on to obtain a Masters of Occupational Therapy degree from The Ohio State University. She will also attest that Ashland prepared her well for graduate school.