Aaron Kessler
Undergraduate Degree:
Biochemistry, West Virginia Wesleyan College

What made you want to get your MD degree at WVU?

WVU is in a good location.  I like the idea of being close to my family.  I grew up having a cousin that went to WVU and I went to a lot of football games when I was younger.  

 So far, what is your favorite part of the MD program?

I like the faculty.  The people that work here are very genuine and they care about you.  

What made you want to become a doctor?

I did not know I wanted to be a doctor for the longest time.  I liked physics and engineering.  It was not until I spent more time around the hospital with my dad and got to know the doctors that I changed my mind.  I was a Biochemistry major because I liked the integration involved with learning the chemistry of all the reactions occurring inside the human body.  I was always helping my dad around the house and I enjoy using my hands and I can do that with medicine, especially surgery. 

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

There are not as many residents in Charleston, so I will get more time with the attendings. I have heard that you get to assist more often on surgical rotations.  

How did your studying abroad help prepare you for medical school?   

I won a scholarship to study in India for 6 weeks in Bangalore.  I took an Indian Medicine History class along with a dance class.  We had to perform in front of everyone for a final competition.  I was able to meet a lot of cool people from all over the world.  That area is known as the Silicon Valley of Asia, and it was very diverse: full of science, fashion, and art.  Outside of the city there is this amazing mountain and you can go up above the clouds and watch the sunrise -- it was amazing.  I want to go back for a global health rotation my 4th year.  This experience helped me attain more maturity and independence that I feel is necessary to be able to devote the necessary time into studying for school.

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

It was more tiring than I was expecting, but it was a lot of fun.  It was great to have a week to get to know everyone before classes started.  Adventure camp was a lot of fun, and that week I went to dinner with a lot of my classmates, which was a great way to get to know them.   

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about medical school? 

The best advice I have is to stay determined because it is a long journey.   Stick it out and force yourself to do it if this is what you want to do.  Keep your eye on why this is what you want to do.  

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

I love to be active by going to the gym and by running and biking.  It is the best break that I give myself.  You need time to recoup from the day.  

So far, which wellness event has been your favorite?  

The Snowball was the most fun.   We got to relax as a class, get all dressed up, have dinner, and dance.  

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

I will be doing a trauma surgery externship at WVU.  This externship will allow me to see a wide variety of cases and spend some quality time in the operating room.  I will also be taking some global health track classes.  

What are your goals after graduating?

I want to go into Cardiothoracic surgery.  I want to go to a bigger city for my residency because I want a different experience.  Then I want to come back and bring that experience closer to home. 

Interviewed spring of 2018 (during the MS1 curriculum)

Photo taken in the “Blue Room” where students can study