Hannah Johnson, M1, wasn’t that typical kid who always knew she wanted to be a doctor. The light-bulb moment came in eighth grade during a car ride with her mother, when Hannah mentioned that she really liked science class that year. Her mom seized the opportunity to talk about what different kinds of doctors do. When she started talking about obstetric gynecologists, Hannah was intrigued. Spending her life involved in the miracle of life sounded amazing. When she shadowed a doctor friend of the family, she was convinced. And when it turned out that her mom’s doctor had graduated from NEOMED, Hannah had found her path.
“NEOMED was my number one choice,’’ said Hannah. “When I visited on a tour I was almost intimidated, it was so professional,’’ she said. But she was accepted, completed two years at Kent State, and was pleasantly surprised to find ‘’it’s not very competitive here. We all help each other.’’
The friendly atmosphere among the students extends to the faculty, Hannah said. One person in particular stands out: Dr. Dana Peterson, a histology professor who often sits in on classes other than those she teaches. “She answers all my questions and gives me advice and asks me how I did on exams. She’s really easy to talk to,’’ said Hannah.
There’s a tradition of sorts for students from Hannah’s high school in Mason, Ohio (near Cincinnati) to attend NEOMED. Yet there’s something unusual about the direction that Hannah plans to take after graduation. She has been inspired by the work of a physician at her church who travels to Papua, New Guinea to provide medical care as part of missionary work. That’s the tradition Hannah would like to follow. So, it’s not surprising that another thing Hannah loves about NEOMED is the university’s deep commitment to diversity. “It’s welcoming to everyone,’’ said Hannah.
Hannah’s parents put her through Kent State, but she is financing her medical education, primarily through student loans. She is very grateful for the Blue Fund scholarship she received, which will help to lighten the load. Hannah’s younger brother also wants to attend NEOMED to become a doctor. If you ask her, he couldn’t make a better choice.