A key question when selecting a medical school is asking yourself if the school is the right fit. When Josh Gallop (’23) discovered the Lerner College of Medicine on an online discussion forum, he became intrigued by its small class size and full year of research. As he learned more, he became increasingly enamored with the program. Most important for him was finding a medical school that would allow him to tailor the program to match his interests, and Josh found that in CCLCM.
“In the preclinical years, students are given the autonomy to allocate their time to studying topics as they see fit. Because we do not have to worry about tests, we are truly able to decide which topics we feel are the most important and interesting, and learn them in a way that is best for each of us,” says Josh. “During the clinical years, students are given significant elective time to explore the specialties and fields in which they are interested. The research year gives students the chance to spend an entire year studying a topic of their choice.”
Born and reared in Minnetonka, Minnesota, Josh completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota, studying cell biology and development, and genetics. His career goal for as long as he can remember was to become a doctor.
“I love science, understanding how things work and solving puzzles,” says Josh. “At the same time, I knew I wanted a career where I could work closely with others. By becoming a doctor, I could work on a team with other physicians and caregivers, form relationships with patients and enjoy the problem solving that comes from diagnosing and developing treatment plans.”
When he first started at CCLCM, Josh had been interested in a several specialties and, during his third year, settled on dermatology. By practicing dermatology, unlike many other specialties, Josh can enjoy diagnosing complex problems, cultivating longitudinal relationships with patients and performing procedures. He also appreciates that he would have the opportunity to treat a wide variety of conditions — everything from skin cancers and wounds to chronic immune-mediated diseases and cosmetic issues.
During his research year, he presented his project, entitled “TSG-6 and TSP-1 exhibit altered expression in the skin of diabetic patients,” at the Society of Investigative Dermatology conference in Portland, Ore.
“It was a great experience, both to be able to show off the hard work I had put in throughout the year and to connect more with the other members of my lab who went to the conference,” says Josh, adding that he also had a chance to explore Oregon while he was there.
Prior to submitting his residency application, Josh had been looking back on his time at CCLCM and the significance of finishing his thesis defense. In addition to his medical degree, he is pursuing a master’s degree in nutrition.
“Defending my thesis meant that my research year was over. I felt like I had overcome some big part of our curriculum and was now ready for the next step. It meant that it was time to start applying to residencies.”
Josh advises medical school candidates to confirm that research is something they’re interested in before applying to CCLCM because research is a large part of the curriculum. He also advises future students to figure out what study methods work best for them and to take advantage of the way the program is structured.
“You can really tailor your own education and make it your own. You get as much out of the program as you put in.”
Outside of his studies, Josh enjoys working out, hiking and immersing himself in nature. He also likes to spend time in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes. Because his significant other is vegan, Josh finds joy in trying to replicate his favorite recipes into vegan-friendly dishes.
“I only recently got into cooking, but it’s been a fun challenge for me to turn recipes I typically like into a vegan dish.”