Master's to Med School | Hunter Alberto Vasquez, MS | PCOM Georgia
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Hunter Alberto Vasquez, MS/Biomed ‘21 
MS in Biomedical Sciences

July 20, 2021

PCOM Georgia biomedical sciences graduate Hunter Alberto Vasquez, MS/Biomed ‘21Celebration and hard work go hand in hand as can be attested to by Hunter Alberto Vasquez, MS ’21. He will attend his PCOM Georgia graduate program commencement ceremony on July 27 where he will receive his Master of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences and, shortly thereafter on August 9, he’ll be seated in Lecture Hall C for medical school orientation along with his fellow class of 2025 members.

Vasquez is on his way to practicing family medicine with people groups whom some consider insignificant.

“I’ve always been incredibly passionate about working with underserved communities,” he said, “so after I complete my medical education, I hope to practice family medicine and specifically work with populations that have historically been marginalized in health care and society as a whole.”

This passion was stoked when he became aware of the number of LGBTQ individuals who forgo medical care “due to negative experiences that they’ve had personally or from stories they’ve heard in the community.”

He said, “Unfortunately a lot of individuals who are marginalized in society, be it due to race, socioeconomic status, sexuality, gender identity, etc., face similar barriers in health care. So I want to be a trusted provider within a small, rural community that could serve these individuals through primary care.”

Vasquez decided to pursue a master’s degree prior to medical school to prepare himself for the rigors of medicine. “I knew that some of the classes in the biomedical sciences program at PCOM Georgia mimicked those of the osteopathic medicine program, and I felt that they would prepare me well, not only in terms of the material, but in learning how to develop efficient study habits with a high course load.”

He also credits the program with giving him the opportunity to work alongside Richard White, PhD, FAHA, professor of pharmacology and physiology and the interim chair of the Department of Bio-Medical Sciences. Together, they investigated a novel, natural compound and its effects on alleviating diabetes-induced endothelial dysfunction. While in medical school, he will begin a new project with Dr. White investigating the cardiovascular effects of COVID-19.

Vasquez felt called to work in health care from an early age, but his path was cemented while in college when he worked as a certified nursing assistant for memory care patients in a geriatric living facility.

“I felt myself wanting to truly understand the in-depth pathophysiology behind the diseases I saw,” he said.

Raised to work hard, Vasquez is inspired by his father who immigrated to the United States from Mexico at the age of 15 “with essentially only the clothes on his back.”

PCOM Georgia biomedical sciences graduate Hunter Alberto Vasquez, MS/Biomed ‘21, standing in front of a waterfallHe said, “Growing up, my dad emphasized the value of hard work, and taught me that regardless of the obstacles we face, we have to persevere in pursuit of our dreams. The positive things in life may not come easy, but they’re usually the things worth fighting for.”

Vasquez grew up on a farm in Elkton, Maryland, and values the experience. “Life on a farm kept me pretty busy most days, from feeding all of the animals in the mornings to maintaining the land in the evenings. It was somewhat all-consuming, but it taught me a lot of responsibility and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

He completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Salisbury University on the eastern shore of Maryland prior to attending PCOM Georgia. He advises future students to “remember why you applied to the program in the first place – be it to prepare you for professional school, interest in research or for a career in industry.”

“The road is long, and it is certainly tough, but I promise you’ll be a much better student and stronger individual after this program.”