Nate Dow

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How the Master of Medical Science Degree Prepared Nate Dow for Medical School

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Nate Dow will head to medical school this fall at the UVM Larner College of Medicine. The UVM alumnus, who earned his undergraduate degree in biological science in 2014, enrolled in UVM’s Master of Medical Science Degree program (MMS) after deciding he wanted to pursue a career in medicine.

Dow, who is from West Newbury, Massachusetts, enrolled in the MMS program to better position himself for getting accepted to medical school. The 12-month program’s core curriculum includes UVM Larner College of Medicine courses in human anatomy, biochemistry, cell biology, human physiology, pharmacology, and biostatistics.

“I wanted to show medical schools that I could be academically competitive in graduate level, science-based coursework,” says Dow, who completed the MMS program in July 2018. “As an aspiring medical school applicant, I had strong clinical and research credentials, but felt that the MMS program could build up my academic resume and make me a better-rounded applicant.”

Dow became interested in medicine when he was in high school. When he was a sophomore at UVM, he started working as an EMT on the UVM Rescue squad, an advanced-life support 911 ambulance that is run by UVM students.

As an undergraduate, he volunteered about 7,500 hours with UVM Rescue and still occasionally volunteers his time to help keep the squad in service. Dow also works per diem for Charlotte Fire and Rescue in addition to working full-time as an emergency department technician in the Emergency Department at UVM Medical Center.

When asked why he enjoys working in medicine, he describes the power of improving the patient experience and creating positive outcomes.

As an example, Dow explains his expertise in ultrasound-guided IV insertion, which is used for patients who experience difficult IV placement.

“Some of these patients are poked more than a dozen times unsuccessfully, or even sent from outside hospitals because they’re unable to get IV access. You can imagine how uncomfortable and frustrating this process can be for these folks,” he says. “With bedside ultrasound, I can involve the patient in his or her own care while combining technology and knowledge for a positive patient outcome.”

Dow, who describes himself as driven, hardworking and active, hopes to continue to work in critical care. For now, he’s looking forward to learning all he can at UVM Larner College of Medicine.

“I love emergency medicine,” he says. “And the MMS coursework I completed in graduate level biochemistry, cell bio and human anatomy will be directly applicable to my medical school classes.”

Learn more about the UVM Master of Medical Science Degree