James Donovan
Undergraduate Degree:
Biology, Virginia Military Institute

As an out of state student how did you hear about WVU? And why did you want to get your MD Degree here?

I found out about WVU in the Military through a program that is partnered by both the army and WVU. I mainly picked WVU because of the people and how receptive everyone is here. I liked that I could also give back to the military. I am also in the National Guard and there is a unit nearby here as well. 

How has your military background helped you in medical school?

The military helped with me time management. You also learn about being prepared and being adaptive. You train as you fight, so the military helped me understand the importance of good preparation. 

What made you want to become a doctor?

I was a medic in the military. There were a lot of things I could do and things I could not do. I wanted to have more knowledge in my profession. I wanted to do those things I could not do as a medic to help saves lives.

How do you think your 3rd and 4th clinical years will be unique since you are part of the Morgantown Campus?

For me being at Ruby I would get to see more trauma with its central location and Level one trauma status. I am interested in surgery and trauma so that is appealing to me. I want to do my residency here as well so I feel that being here for my third and fourth years will help with that. 

Did the programs orientation week help you get to know your classmates, faculty/staff, and get you acquainted with Morgantown before classes officially started?

Orientation week was great for getting to know my classmates. Doing different activities with my classmates got me interacting and starting to get to know them. Orientation just got me familiar with this area and the HSC because it can be confusing at first. 

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about medical school who already has a family?

It is not much different than having a job and a family. My job is a student. I still have to set aside time for my family. There are times that childcare is needed when obligations are out of normal business hours.

What activities help keep you a well-balanced medical student?

Mainly my family keeps me balanced. Doing things with them and working out in the gym. I also play ice hockey in Morgantown. These things keep my mind, body and spirit going.

So far, which wellness event has been your favorite? 

Snowball was fun. It was nice to have time to interact with classmates outside of class. I was able to get to know them as individuals.   

What plans do you have for the summer between first and second year?

I will be doing the INTRO program working with research and trauma surgery. I will also be doing some army training as well. 

What are your goals after graduating?

I would like to stay here doing surgical residency. My end goal of being a trauma surgeon in West Virginia. I would also like to stay with the National Guard as well. 


Interviewed spring of 2019 (during the MS1 curriculum)

Photo taken walkway to the research building