Every day when John Saulle leaves his internship working in the pathology lab at Boston’s Children’s Hospital he knows he is one step closer to realizing his dream of becoming a doctor of pediatric medicine.
That dream was the result of, as a teenager, having survived a 50-foot drop from a ski lift, “I realized on the way to the hospital, that somehow, not a single bone in my body was broken. I knew at that moment that life is a gift and I had to make the most out of it.”
John decided to enroll in community college near his home town in New Jersey. “I was the first in my family to go to college and chose to go in undecided. I had this wonderful biology professor, loved the class and we really connected.” His fate, he says, was sealed.
“I decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree and had three friends who were at Mount Ida encouraging me to apply. It was my only application and I was accepted.”
The biology program at the time was small, but through the hard work of the faculty and students like John, It’s grown and is growing by leaps and bounds, as evidenced by the recent opening of the new School of Applied Sciences laboratories.
“I founded and formed the Pre-med organization and have been working with the faculty to help on the program side and at the same time educate myself so I will be ready to apply to medical school. I’ve also dived into my internship experiences.”
The pathology internship is the third time John has worked at Children’s. He has volunteered and worked as an administrative assistant on a general pediatric unit and is now in the pathology department. “When I was the admin, I would handle samples and always wondered where they went and what happened to them. Now I see every day how they are processed, how the samples are utilized and prepared for diagnosis.”
In Patient Services he was able to interact one-on-one with families and tend to their needs, answer their questions and to assure they were as comfortable as possible while their child was being treated.
But more than that, John has seen the children as patients, from the child with severe seizures who always recognizes him and says hello, to a teenager who had brain surgery but could smile every day and be optimistic about the future. “I realized how exciting and rewarding the work could be. When I think back on my pre-accident days without a purpose or direction, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come.”
Now John is set to pass on his legacy. “As a first generation college student, I had no one to show me. I want to be sure when I leave Mount Ida that I’ve passed something along to the next generation of students.”
John plans to apply to Harvard medical school and is hopeful they will see that he is dedicated and committed to being the very best doctor to his patients. Until then, he will concentrate on his classwork, work his 12 days on/2 days off schedule at the hospital, read as much as he can to learn, what he calls, the new language of medicine, and play a little ice hockey in his spare moment or two.