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Graduation 2020

Developing Important Skills for a Medical Career

Honored Graduating Student: Jacob Smith (PDBio)

Jacob Smith, a student graduating in physiology and developmental biology, looks forward to starting medical school this summer at the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Arizona.

Jacob Smith is graduating this year with a bachelor’s degree in physiology and developmental biology and then going on to study medicine—a path inspired by his high school physiology class and encouraged by a mentoring physician. As Smith shadowed this physician in the operating room, a strong desire to learn more about the intricacies of the human body was ignited within him.

Even though the journey has been challenging, Smith appreciates all that he’s learned during his time at Brigham Young University. He values the practical and fascinating material presented by professors in the College of Life Sciences. And, he believes that the difficulty of the courses has prepared him to dive into understanding more challenging concepts. At the conclusion of his program, Smith also feels that he has a greater ability to manage his time effectively.

Smith has participated in various research and internship opportunities. During his first year at BYU, he began working in Dr. Kooyman’s osteoarthritis research lab. In 2018, Smith volunteered with Utah Valley Hospital’s outpatient recovery clinic, working with patients in cardiac rehabilitation. These experiences helped form his passion for research and problem-solving. It also developed the empathy he wishes to carry through his future career as a doctor.

After graduation, Smith will attend the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Arizona beginning in July. He’s grateful to Dr. Kooyman for his integrity, kindness, and wisdom, and also for the prayers that Kooyman offered on Smith’s behalf. He is also thankful for his friend Brandon Rose who’s been a great example of how to balance the nuances of life. Smith would also like to recognize his family, especially his wife, whose support, faith, advice, and sacrifices have helped him achieve his goals.