Jack Healy '15


Your Name: Jack Healy

Graduation Year: 2015

Major: Biology and Sociology & Anthropology

Your Story: Hello! My name is Jack and I have had a slightly unusual path to medical
school because I took five years between undergrad and starting med school. I was
born in Duluth and picked Gustavus because of the strong sense of community. As a
freshman, I knew I wanted to go into healthcare, but initially thought I wanted to be
a nutritionist, then explored physical therapy, before ultimately deciding to pursue

During college, I was in involved with Epsilon Pi Alpha Fraternity, Gustie
Greeters, worked as a CF for residential life, TA’ed for Biology and Human Anatomy
and Physiology labs, sang in choir, worked at nursing homes, participated in the January Interim
Health Professions Shadowing Program at River’s Edge Hosptial and Clinic in St. Peter, interned
with the American Lung Association, worked for the Admissions office, volunteered
at Hennepin County Medical Center as a Research Assistant, worked for the Center for Servant Leadership, and conducted an independent study on rural patient autonomy with my Sociology & Anthropology advisor.

After Gustavus, I moved to Seattle where I worked for the University of
Washington for two and a half years. I was a Research Coordinator for the Kidney
Research Institute, a collaboration between the Northwest Kidney Centers (a non-
profit dialysis and kidney care provider) and the University’s Nephrology
Department. This was an awesome opportunity because I worked directly with
renal patients and also obtained a deep understanding of epidemiology and clinical

After Seattle, I moved to New Orleans to pursue a Master of Public Health
degree in Epidemiology from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical
Medicine with an emphasis in Clinical and Translational Research Methods. At
Tulane, I worked as a Research Assistant for the Maternal and Child Health
Department on a study to better understand racial disparities in maternal and child
health outcomes. I also worked for the New Orleans Health Department as a data
analyst. For my master’s thesis, I studied the impact of Medically Supervised
Injection Centers on opioid-related morbidity and mortality.

After grad school, I moved to Westminster, Colorado (between Denver and
Boulder) where I work as a Senior Analyst for DaVita Integrated Kidney Care. In this
role, I manage projects and analyze data related to a telemedicine program for
dialysis patients. I have been involved in projects to address mental health
counseling, medication management, advanced care planning and end of life
decision making, and COVID-19 support for patients with end-stage renal disease. I have

also coordinated training for nurses and care coordinators to help them better
navigate insurance benefits, and educated on common comorbidities in this
population, including diabetes, heart disease, and pulmonary disease.

I will be starting medical school this summer and plan to pursue a career in both
clinical research and direct patient care.Good luck on your journey, and remember: your

mileage may vary! Do what you love and you will end up in the right place.

Top Five Activities/Experiences: (in no particular order)
1. Working as a Clinical Research Coordinator for the University of
Washington’s Kidney Research Institute in Seattle.

2. I conducted my master’s thesis on Medically Supervised Injection Centers to
combat opioid-related morbidity and mortality.

3. Working as a Resident Assistant in a Memory Care Unit in Saint Peter and as
a Home Health Aide at an Assisted Living Home in Duluth.

4. Interning with the American Lung Association of Minnesota on the Gustavus
Tobacco-Free Initiative.

5. Working as a Data Analyst for the New Orleans Health Department on a
project to ensure the re-accreditation of the department and better
understand the social determinants of health and how racial and economic
issues impact healthcare delivery and health outcomes for New Orleanians.

1. Everyone’s path and timing are different. Be kind to yourself and know that if
being a doctor is really what you want to do, it is okay to fail on your way
there. You may have to apply to med school more than once, you may have to
take the MCAT more than once, and you may change career paths. These are
all okay. The important thing is to treat yourself gently along the way and use
your time doing things you enjoy and that will ultimately make you a more
well-rounded health professional.

2. There are many interesting, fulfilling, and in-demand careers in healthcare.
The road to becoming a doctor is long and hard, so make sure that medicine
is absolutely what you want to do. Other health professions to consider include: 

nursing, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, pharmacy, dentistry, nutrition, physical/occupational
therapy, clinical research, bench research, public health, healthcare
administration, health policy, and more.

Be open-minded and genuinely consider why you want to be a doctor, and
what the other professions have to offer. Make a list of the most important
variables to you (e.g., working with people, solving problems, being at the
forefront of scientific advancement, working reasonable hours and having a
low-stress job, creating policies that determine how healthcare resources are
distributed, etc.). Then, think about how medicine fits - or not! - with those
variables, and how other careers paths fit. You may decide that medicine is
not the best fit for you, and that another profession is more appealing, and
that is okay!
I recommend that you genuinely consider what you are trying to get out of
your life and career and think about how other professions align with your
goals and preferences. I highly recommend that you interview, read about,
and research other health careers. No matter which path you ultimately
choose, this information will still help you understand the patient journey,
the healthcare system, and how different professionals work together.

3. Do things because you love them, not because they will “look good for an
admissions committee”. It is okay to try something new to learn how you feel
about it, and then learn it is not for you. But remember that your time is
precious. Do not spend it on jobs, volunteering, or extracurriculars that you
dislike for the sake of getting into school.

Future Plans: I am starting medical school in the summer of 2020, but my final
decision of which school I will be attending is pending.....!

Updated 4/2/2020 HB