Master's to Med School | Grace Wilgucki, MS | PCOM Grad
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Grace Wilgucki, MS/Biomed '21 
MS in Biomedical Sciences

July 29, 2021
Biomedical sciences graduate Grace Wilgucki, MS, has been accepted into PCOM's medical programWhat inspired you to pursue a career in medicine?

My inspiration to pursue a career in medicine comes from two very important people in my life. First, my pediatric gastroenterologist, Soula Koniaris, MD. When I was nine years old, I was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease. My physician went above and beyond in her care for me to ensure that my disease would never interfere with my life goals. I aspire to help others thrive despite their diagnosis like she did for me. Next, my father, John Wilgucki, DO, is an osteopathic physician. He has always embodied selflessness and trustworthiness. He is someone I look up to and aspire to be like as a future doctor.  

Why did you choose PCOM for your graduate education?

I chose PCOM for my graduate education because of its tight-knit community and superior academics. The family feeling that occurs at PCOM was apparent to me from my first visit to campus. Two years later, PCOM, its faculty and its students have become integral parts of my life. 

Were there any faculty or staff members that were influential during your time at PCOM? 

David Cavenaugh, BS, director of the Gross Anatomy Lab; Michael McGuinness, PhD, professor, anatomy; Denah Appelt, PhD, Director of Dual Degree Programs and Biomedical Science Specialty Concentrations in the School of Health Sciences; and Kerin Claeson, PhD, professor, anatomy, are all both excellent teachers and fantastic mentors. Arturo Bravo-Nuevo, PhD, associate professor, neuroscience, has also been influential in guiding me through my pursuit of research. I am very grateful for them!

What accomplishment are you most proud of during your life or your time at PCOM?

Since becoming a PCOM student, I have felt an immense amount of support and encouragement to step outside of my comfort zone. From this, during my time as a biomedical sciences student, I was elected Class President, I joined a laboratory to conduct research, I participated in clubs on campus (like a basketball league!) and I eventually was accepted into the doctor of osteopathic medicine program at PCOM. I attribute these accomplishments to the extremely uplifting and motivating environment that is fostered at PCOM. I hope to be a physician that is compassionate, trustworthy and an advocate for my patients.

What advice would you give to a graduate student that is starting their journey?

I would advise a student that is starting their journey to be disciplined. Find a routine that allows you to both work hard and take time to do activities that bring you happiness. Build relationships with those on the same journey or those who have completed the journey. Seek guidance when you need it,  be open to expanding past your comfort zone, be tenacious and never give up!