Ray Lorenzoni; University of Connecticut class of 2007; Major: Molecular and Cell Biology + Chemistry; University of Connecticut School of Medicine class of 2014 MD Program
To learn more about University of Connecticut School of Medicine click here

Why did you choose to pursue a career in healthcare?

After suffering from heat exhaustion during a cross country running race during high school, I recognized the intimate importance the medical system has for the well-being of our communities. I reassessed my goals to be an architect or engineer and realized that I might be capable of helping as a physician. My experiences during college as part of the Honors Program strengthened my resolve to make medicine my career. With guidance from mentors and friends, I worked hard and persisted to gain multiple acceptances, finally deciding to continue at UConn SOM. I am now a "double alumnus" and proud of my education and training from UConn. I have since completed Pediatric and Pediatric Cardiology training at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in NYC and Children's Hospital Los Angeles. I am returning home as a Pediatric Cardiology imaging faculty member along side my former professors at Connecticut Children's. I cannot imagine a better to place to have been and to be.

What were some meaningful extracurricular activities that you were involved in while at UConn?

I participated in UConn's Honors student government, research, and intramural sports throughout college. It is a great idea to try out a few different interests to find "your things" and "your people" and then get more heavily involved in just two or three of them. This is a solid way to make great friends, gain some expertise, and build a network of friends with similar interests and goals.

What were some challenges you have faced along your healthcare journey so far, and how have you overcome them?

There will always be challenges but keep moving and striving to get through them. Do not let set-backs become roadblocks. Let them humble you and then figure out if and how you can overcome them. Your failings do not define you....what does is how you learn from and respond to them.

What did you do during your growth year(s) and what did you learn?

After college I did not get into medical school right away. To keep the possibility alive, I searched for work that was clinically related and dedicated myself to getting better test scores and volunteering. I worked for three years in a clinical neuropsychiatry lab as a research manager and retook the MCAT before getting into medical school. Medical school was not easy, but the material was fascinating and I asked for help when I needed it. I matched into a good Pediatric residency, but did not get into the Pediatric Cardiology specialty that I wanted right away. I took a gap year and worked in a cardiac intensive care unit in NYC enjoying the work and city life before going back to training for Pediatric Cardiology. In retrospect, I would recommend taking a gap year to improve yourself professionally and personally and to gain some perspective on your place in the world. I am finishing my training now and, although it was a long and tricky road, I would still recommend medicine for anyone looking for a career that is both rewarding on a daily basis and pays well. IMO, there's no better way to earn a living.

What are some ways that you take care of your mental health and overall wellbeing?

Deep purposeful breaths. Try new things. A partner that has a good sense of humor and challenges you. A dog. Quiet time for thinking. Therapy or career coaching can be a super power that keeps you grounded and helps you attain your goals.

What advice do you have for aspiring pre-health students?

The path to a career in healthcare involves organization and planning. Always be thinking of your next steps and set up a schedule with a friend/mentor/coach to complete them. Get to know a local clinician, nurse, therapist, etc. to understand both what the profession is like and what is necessary. Collect mentors and keep in touch with them about twice-annually; for mutual value, offer them insights into their interests that you hear about and ask for their opinion about your plans. Let others' experience guide you so you do not have to reinvent the wheel....you should not try to do it all by yourself.