John Hunt, MD is a pediatric pulmonologist/allergist/immunologist from Charlottesville, VA. He received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College before going on to George Washington University School of Medicine, where he earned his MD. He served in the Medical Corps with the US Naval Reserve from 1992-2003. During that time he completed his residency in pediatrics at the San Diego Naval Medical Center, and two fellowships at the University of Virginia, one in Allergy and Immunology and one in Pediatric Pulmonology. Since then he served in a number of roles, from professor at the University of Virginia to entrepreneur to researcher to author.
1. When did you first decide to become a physician? Why?
Throughout my childhood I had bad asthma and my pediatrician was wonderful so I decided by fourth grade to be a pediatrician. By 9th grade, I was cured of that desire because there was no way in hell I was going to put up with all the years of school needed to become a doctor. I didn’t even consider medicine again until my college senior year, during which I decided to be a surgeon. But somehow, in the end of it all I grew up into a pediatric asthma specialist. My wonderful childhood pediatrician quit medicine to open a chocolate factory.
2. What surprised you most about your medical studies?
That the premedical work was pretty much unnecessary, and that I was very glad that I studied in college all sorts of broad liberal arts as opposed to wasting excessive time with undergraduate chemistry and biology. You learn what you need to in medical school and then in residency, and then in fellowship and then every day through a medical career. So, take as few pre-med courses as you can and don’t waste your valuable college education being a pre-med major. There is so much to learn in college that will help you be a better doctor that has nothing to do with chemistry and biology.
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