Graduate Profile: Spencer D. Hall
Spencer D. Hall
M.S. in Tumor Biology
I am currently finishing my third year of medical school with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) based in Erie, Pennsylvania. This upcoming academic year I will complete medical school and match into residency, my specific field of choice being neurology. Although fellowship training is several years away, top interests include neuroimmunology, neurophysiology, and neuro-oncology.
Why did you choose the M.S. in Tumor Biology program at Georgetown?
I chose Tumor Biology at Georgetown University over many other programs at other locations for several reasons; these include obvious and considerable interest in the field, difficulty of the subject, prestige of the university, quality of the professors, rigor of the experience, and preparation for a future in research. None of these expectations went unmet, as my interest in the field increased, the subject matter challenged me, and I left my Georgetown University experience substantially more prepared for medical school and a research-oriented career. Above all, the wonderful professors were easily the highlight of the entire program, as I felt that Drs. Ayesha Shajahan-Haq, Michael Johnson, Fung-Lung Chung, Sona Vasudevan, and Karen Ross, among others, have incredible care for the students in addition to having incredible research experience.
What experiences in the master’s program were the most valuable or interesting to you?
The students of this program get to work directly in the lab every week with faculty members who are researching their various fields of interest. Such participation has been and will be immensely helpful to me, as I apply to neuro residencies that consistently emphasize desire for and experience in research. Lastly, I specifically chose the cancer systems biology track, which provided me with relevant knowledge in bioinformatics completely unknown to me prior to this program.
How do you use what you learned at Georgetown in your current position, professional outlook and/or career choices?
I have particularly enjoyed the discipline that I learned from my graduate year at Georgetown University. The subject matter surely gave me a boost for medical school quizzes and exams, but the help is more than just a head start in biological pathways and chemical interactions. Clinical competence and confidence have been even better program rewards for me.
What advice would you give to current or prospective students interested in your career path?
The professors and experiences of my year in this program made it well worth any investment put into it. My advice is to seriously consider this program; preparation for medical school or careers in research is chief among many benefits, as participation in such high-quality research and exposure to lectures from those actively researching their given topics will have you growing in both knowledge and discipline.