Coleton Towles

  • BS Biochemistry (Miami University), 2018
  • University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Bowling Green Campus

How did being a Miami chemistry/biochemistry major help you enter medical school?

Majoring in Biochemistry at Miami was very helpful in preparing me for medical school. I was well prepared to take the MCAT due to the difficulty of many of my chemistry courses. There were some difficult concepts that were tough to grasp when I was initially introduced to the material. However, by the time I was preparing to take the MCAT, I had a pretty good idea of how to study the material and was able to be efficiently review the concepts.

Miami also prepared me for medical school through research opportunities. Though not a requirement for admission to medical school, research looks very good and they want you to be able to discuss it in some detail. They want to see that you were truly part of the research process and not just scrubbing test tubes. I got a late start with my research at Miami, but I learned so much working in Dr. Bretz’s research lab. My research at Miami allowed me to set myself apart in medical school interviews. I have continued new research at medical school and was awarded a research grant to participate in research at UK. I attribute my ongoing research opportunities to my research I began at Miami as an undergraduate student.

How does having been a Miami chemistry/biochemistry major help you currently in medical school?

My curriculum at Miami prepared me for medical school by teaching me how to work through difficult courses. Though I never really “failed” any classes at Miami, I had several classes where I certainly struggled. Medical school has been difficult, but not any harder than what I’ve already experienced as a Biochemistry major at Miami. My difficult course load at Miami taught me resilience and time management.

Any advice for those who would like to go to medical school or who are considering to choose certain majors?

I choose to pursue a degree in Biochemistry for a number of reasons. I knew it would be a challenging four years of course work, but I also knew I would graduate a stronger student because of it. I also knew if I changed my mind about going to medical school during my time at Miami, I would have no issue finding a career in Biochemistry. Research at Miami is really unique in that it is so easy to get involved and you can start your own research project. Talking to my medical school peers who attended different undergraduate universities, their experiences were not the same. That being said, you can do research in whatever you are interested. You will find that you are most successful as a research when you enjoy what you are spending time researching!

Biochemistry is a good major if you plan on pursuing medical school. So much of what you learn can be directly applied to medical school class and I feel as though I was well prepared for my curriculum. It certainly is not the easiest path to take, but it is incredibly rewarding. I would also advice students to not be too discouraged by a couple of bad grades. Pick yourself up, work harder, change your study habits, and do whatever it is you need to do to be successful. It’s a long road to medical school and they don’t expect perfection. What they do expect is passion, perseverance, and hard work.