Prior to graduation last year, then-Trevecca senior Joe Hare sat down with us to talk about his future plans, his Trevecca experience and why he chose Trevecca in the first place. Now in medical school at West Virginia University, Joe is well on his way to obtaining his goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
(Just a note: Joe is a triplet. Each of the triplets attended Trevecca, as well as their older siblings.)
You were originally not interested in attending Trevecca. Can you tell us a little about that?
My older brothers had come here, and I said I’d never come here. At the time, I was the last one out of the triplets to decide where I was going [to college]. Kayann and Daniel had already decided on Trevecca, and I just wanted my own path.
What caused you to change your mind?
One thing I thought about at the time was finances. With scholarships, I could come to Trevecca with the assistance cheaper than I could a state school. Also, for applying to medical school, you have to have letters of recommendation. With a smaller school, I just knew that a smaller school would be a better fit because I would actually know the people who were writing the letters. Plus, I don’t like big crowds. I wouldn’t do well in a class of 300 or 400, so smaller class size was very important to me. At first, I didn’t know it was until I sat in on a class during a tour of a large school, and after that I was like, “This isn’t for me.”
What kind of opportunities did you get at Trevecca that have helped you in medical school?
I did research in the cadaver lab. I wanted to do medicine, so I thought the more experience I could get the better, since your first of medical school you’re in the cadaver lab. I did a project with the knee. It’s called the meniscus, what I’m interested in. It’s just a piece of cartilage between the femur and the tibia. Most of the time they treat it with physical therapy. If it’s serious enough, they’ll do a transplant where they take a meniscus from a cadaver and insert it into the person’s knee. The whole match process with that is not efficient. They use X-rays and MRIs to basically just guess, so what I was doing was see if I could find a more effective way to do the meniscal matching without these extensive procedures in a hospital. So we looked at an individual’s height to see if that was predictive of their meniscal measurements and defined four measurements and run correlations to see if we can predict the measurements using the person’s height. We only did it for one of the four measurements in males only, but what we found was that [the measurement] was a lower percent error than any of the published findings with MRI and X-ray.
How would you describe your Trevecca experience?
My first year, I was focused on academics, and I didn’t really give the social activities a chance. As I began to open up, not only did I begin to really create my own niche and sense of belonging, but I also developed friendships and began to enjoy my time. The connections with the professors are a lot deeper than just a professor-student relationship, too. It’s become more like mentorships and “Hey, here’s what I need. Can you help me get this?” with internships and meeting physicians.
How has Trevecca helped you to grow spiritually?
I think the coolest thing is that not only has Trevecca provided me with a science background to head to my future, but it’s also shown me how to take Jesus into the workplace with me. It’s really shown me that you can really incorporate your faith and science, rather than leaving faith at the door of the hospital.
How is medical school going so far?
Medical school is hard. It is not something you can do alone. There have been days where you just want to quit, but that is where your support system steps in. They’ve been great at reminding me what I am doing and why I’m doing it. I was very nervous coming from a small private school and being thrown in with students from the University of Southern California, South Carolina, Wake Forrest and Princeton. At first, I was pretty quiet. But I quickly began to see that I was further along than most of my peers. I began to see that Trevecca prepared me far better than most other schools. Recently, on one of the national board exams, I scored in the 96th percentile in the country. Trevecca really helped prepare me for both my medical school career and my future, and I’m very thankful.