Before the NEOMED Class of 2026 starts their journey, we wanted to learn more about students from this group. We invited them to share their stories. Here is one response:

Meet Brandon Petrovich. The Granville, Ohio, native received a Bachelor of Science in medical dietetics from The Ohio State University. Not a complete stranger to NEOMED, he also completed the Master of Leadership in Health Systems Sciences degree before joining the College of Medicine Class of 2026.

What compelled you to pursue a degree in health care?

Many factors have influenced my decision to pursue a career in medicine, but the most significant life event that’s set me on this path was being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was 16 years old. Up to that point, my engagement with our health care system had largely been limited to “well-child” visits and the occasional clumsy injury leading to an emergency department encounter. Being diagnosed with a chronic disease that continually demanded my attention reshaped my understanding of what it means to be “sick,” shaped my understanding of our health care systems, and ultimately fueled a broad interest in medicine.

In addition to a basic interest in pathophysiology and how the field of medicine and our health systems can be improved to enhance outcomes for those with diabetes and other conditions, my experience produced an interest in how chronic health conditions, and their management, impact patients’ day-to-day quality of life, including from a psychosocial standpoint.

This experience, in combination with my personality and what I find most meaningful in life, made medicine a clear frontrunner as a vocation.

Why did you choose NEOMED?

A key reason I chose NEOMED was due to its role as a community-based medical school, with students carrying out clerkships with different health systems throughout Ohio. This can present challenges, but I also think this design allows students to be exposed to how health systems differ—in how they operate, the services they offer, the culture they possess and beyond. I think this grants a diverse understanding of Ohio’s health care systems and helps students make informed decisions when choosing where they will spend their residency and the remainder of their careers. Additionally, this diverse knowledge can serve to drive improvements in health care.

What specific career do you hope to pursue? Or where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Currently, I see myself pursuing a Med Peds residency, combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, following graduation. From there, I may pursue a broad career that allows me to work both as a hospitalist and as a PCP. However, there is a significant chance that I may pursue an endocrinology fellowship following residency. I’m hoping those clerkships will provide some much-needed guidance. I’m passionate about improving health care systems for poor and underserved populations and plan to incorporate this focus into my career regardless of the path that is taken.

What book or movie are you currently recommending to friends? Why?

My favorite book from the past year is Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner. This is an absolutely gorgeous book that centers around Michelle’s relationship with her mother, whom she lost to metastatic pancreatic cancer when Michelle was 25 years old. Michelle’s father is white and her mother is Korean, and the book creates a beautiful image of love (often reflected through food), grief and the challenges Michelle faces in preserving her Korean identity after her mother’s passing.

I know this sounds a bit depressing, but I found that the underlying beauty in Michelle’s description of her experience, and the humor incorporated, balanced out the sadness and made it a very enjoyable and rewarding read.

If time and resources were no object, what skill or hobby would you pursue? Why?

I’ve been trying to learn to play guitar because I absolutely love music and never learned, so I would happily pour endless time and money into this endeavor. I've never been a particularly quick learner when it comes to these types of skills and generally succeed through sheer effort, so time would be a particularly useful resource.

What’s your hype song? Why?

This is probably an unconventional hype song, but there’s a little song called “Grown Ocean” by my favorite band, Fleet Foxes, that does wonders for my mood regardless of the context. There are so many reasons why this song gets me hyped — it's an energetic indie-folk jam that’s beaming with optimism and hope for the future. The song closes out their wonderful album “Helplessness Blues,” which came out in 2011, the year I graduated high school. One of the album’s overarching themes is personal development and becoming the person you want to be. Let’s just say, the album resonated with me deeply at the time and still does today.

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