Brian Burtch, '98; Endocrinologist at Your Diabetes Endocrine Nutrition Group, Inc.
Why Ashland? I had a neighbor who went to Ashland and loved it. My campus visit just seemed right. The access to professors and small class size were very appealing. Lunch in the cafeteria didn't hurt either!
I completed medical school at the University of Toledo (Medical College of Ohio). I completed residency and fellowship at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Medical Center in Cleveland, OH.
My pre-professional program made me aware of what to expect in the future. Dr. Scott Hannan, who was three years my senior at Ashland, was very helpful in giving me advice about what to expect in medical school.
I really liked my general chemistry class with Dr. Arthur. It was one of the reasons I majored in chemistry. The class was challenging and Dr. Arthur fostered my curiosity and love of science. To this date, it is one of the best classes I have ever taken! Dr. Weidenhamer's quantitative analysis was another great class. It taught me real world application of science and the scientific method. My biology classes were a lot of fun as well.
My professors helped me apply to medical school by writing letters of recommendation and letting me know what to expect during this process. They also helped put me in touch with people who had been through the process.
I am currently a clinical endocrinologist in Mentor, OH. I see patients with diabetes, thyroid disease, resistant hypertension, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, low testosterone, pituitary tumors and obesity to name some of the more common diseases I deal with on a regular basis. My office frequently has medical students rotate through the office for teaching and clinical experience. My office is involved in clinical research looking into new medications for diabetes. In the community, I volunteer regularly at the Lake County Free Clinic caring for patients with diabetes who do not have insurance. I am also active speaking on diabetes and related issues in the community and to other physicians/medical professionals. My office website is www.yourdiabetes.net.
AU helped me reach my career goals in many ways. The biggest way was the personal touch and individual support I received. My professors were my role models and there is no way I would be where I am now if it weren't for their guidance and interest in my education.
I was involved in research at AU with Dr. Weidenhamer looking into an antioxidant compound in specific plants. It gave me a taste of what real world research is like. Dr. Weidenhamer was very patient and very instructive. I can't think of someone better to get research experience from. It prepared me for the ups and downs of clinical research.
I was very satisfied with the program at AU. From what I have seen and read it is getting bigger and better.
I would tell prospective students to go visit the AU campus, meet with the professors and talk with fellow students. I think they will find a very close-knit group committed to helping them reach their goals.