Honors College alumnus and Lowell resident Erick Tiemens was recently accepted to Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Ill., and will begin his journey to earning a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) in fall 2018. Tiemens plans to pursue emergency medicine, and his ultimate goal is to become an emergency room (ER) doctor.
After submitting applications to 28 medical schools, submitting secondary applications for 22 and completing various interviews with several others, Tiemens said he was relieved to finally receive an acceptance from Midwestern. His acceptance to Indiana University is pending.
Aged 23, Tiemens anticipates having three degrees, including his D.O., by the time he turns 28 in 2022. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Purdue University Northwest in 2016, and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Biology from PNW. He expects to graduate with his master’s in spring 2018.
While attending graduate school is not mandatory for acceptance to medical school, Tiemens elected to do so in order to improve his GPA and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores. In addition to master’s coursework, Tiemens is a graduate assistant and teaches two 200-level anatomy labs.
“I just like it,” Tiemens said of teaching. “I was a teaching assistant for the Honors College as an undergrad, and then did the same for anatomy. I enjoy helping people, but it also helps solidify information in my mind and helps me have a better understanding of the subject.” He added that he would consider teaching medicine in the future, but plans to tackle one major life goal at a time.
Tiemens has worked in the medical field in various capacities: as an emergency medical technician for Prompt Ambulance Service, as an ER scribe and as an assistant to an orthopedic surgeon. He wants to continue working in the emergency room environment because he finds it more interesting than specializing in one specific area of medicine.
“In the ER, you see everything,” he said. “It’s not like a podiatrist, who looks at feet all day. Every day is different.”
You might say Tiemens’ interest in the medical field is hereditary. His mother is an ER nurse at St. Anthony’s in Crown Point, and his sister Becky is in her third year of medical school at Indiana University. Becky’s boyfriend Alex recently graduated from medical school at Midwestern University, so Tiemens has a reliable support system to guide him through his D.O. coursework and his future career.
Tiemens offers advice to students interested in pursuing a path similar to his own.
“Take on as many leadership opportunities as you can, and volunteer a lot,” he said, crediting the Honors College at PNW for offering such opportunities.
“Also, take a business or finance course. When I graduate I will be in tons of debt. A lot of doctors I know learn to do their own taxes, invest in stock and are overall financially savvy.”