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Biology as Boot Camp

Biology as Boot Camp
max seiterThe day that I sat down to chat with Max Seiter, who’s graduating this month with a degree in biology, turned out to be one of the marquis days of his life. Seiter, a native of nearby Lakeway, Texas, had just found out that he’d been accepted into the medical school at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

He and I talked about his experience in the college, about his favorite classes, and about how shadowing a doctor in the ER had convinced him that medicine was the right field for him.

What was your first big moment as a student in the college?


It was my first chemistry test, my first semester here. I’d registered late, so I got stuck with the 8 a.m. class. So it’s early in the morning, and I’m stressed out. I was really worried about whether I could hack it. Then I got the test, and I realized, ‘I can do this.’ I realized I could do well in college.

Were you looking forward to being a biology major?

Honestly, when I came to college I thought it was just going to be a platform to get into medical school. I didn’t expect to like it so much. My classes have been amazing, particularly Neurobiology of Addiction, with Dr. Harris, and the two lab classes, 323L and 365, with Drs. [Malcolm] Brown and [Michael] Markham.

What did you like about those classes?

Part of it was the challenge. I think it was the first day of 323L, the cell biology lab with Dr. Brown. He told us that he expected a 30-page lab report every week. I still can’t believe that I completed that course, but it was worth it. It was just an amazing experience.

Why has going to such a big school been nice?

As an undergraduate, I’ve been able to work with multimillion dollar machines that often aren’t even available to professors at smaller schools. I mean, to be able to do a patch clamp of neurons—that’s something that most people can only read about in textbooks, and yet I was able to do it in my neurobiology lab with Dr. Markham. Or just to be able to look through an electron microscope. That’s phenomenal.

Tell me about your emergency room experience.

I was lucky. I have a regular ultimate frisbee game on the weekends, and one of the other players is an ER doctor at Brazosport Memorial, down in Lake Jackson. I told him that I was hoping to go to med school, and he asked what my grades were, and my MCATs, and I told him. “Those are good,” he said, “but have you had any experience in a hospital?” When I said no, he offered to let me shadow him, and I ended up spending about 250 hours with him that semester. I’d go down to stay with him for a few days at a a time, and do the whole 12-hour shifts with him, so it was really a taste of what that life is like.

What was your best day at UT?

Today. Getting into med school at a place like Southwestern is just amazing.
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Comments 4

 
Guest - Linda Wicke on Tuesday, 15 December 2009 16:44

Attaboy, MAX! We are proud of you. What a great guy! Love, Mo0m and DAD

Attaboy, MAX! We are proud of you. What a great guy! Love, Mo0m and DAD
Guest - Pat Wirthlin on Monday, 28 November 2011 17:33

I love this article, max. You are amazing! Love, Aunt Pat

I love this article, max. You are amazing! Love, Aunt Pat
Guest - bill "king of volvo" on Friday, 02 September 2011 11:46

good job, Max! xlnt balance of play meeting work with fisbee! -uncle Bill

good job, Max! xlnt balance of play meeting work with fisbee! -uncle Bill
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