Stark State opened door of opportunity for medical student

Derek Murphy


Stark State College, Derek Murphy says, gave him the right dose of science skills to open the door to medical school.

Derek came to Stark State to bone up on science classes – physics, calculus, organic chemistry, microbiology, statistics, pharmacology and human diseases – after he’d earned a bachelor’s degree in biology that didn’t translate into a lot of success on the medical school exam or in securing medical school interviews.

“You’re getting really good quality education at a fraction of the price,” the Canton resident said of his classwork at Stark State.

His professors, he said, were stellar. “If you study hard, you’re going to excel. They’re people with real world experience who give you insights that only a lab or business can give you. It’s a different way of thinking that I didn’t get in any other school.” With their help, he was able to focus on basic science concepts that paid off for his future. “Stark State helped me get into medical school,” he said.

After a six-month internship at EPCOT in Disneyworld, Derek took 25 hours at Stark State while doing high school substitute teaching and tutoring, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. The extra work at SSC paid off in the form of “a really good” medical college admission test (MCAT) score,” Derek said, along with interviews at a number of the dozen medical schools he applied to. Nova Southeastern University in Florida, a school that gets more than 5,400 applications for 230 seats in its medical college, already has offered him a spot.

Derek is considering the medical fields of psychiatry or ophthalmology, interests spurred by his grandparents’ medical issues. “I want to be part of the solution,” he said.
While medical school was his goal, Derek said there are many reasons he’s a Stark State fan.

“The value of an education here,” he said, “cannot be beat.”