Daniel Steele

September 27, 2023

MSBS Class of 2023

Where is your hometown?
Birmingham, AL

Undergraduate studies:

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Miami, Florida but raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After graduating high school in 2004, I attended Auburn University for a few years but did not graduate. Auburn is a great school and I loved being there, but I lacked the skills to manage full-time student life, part-time employment, and extracurriculars. I ended up leaving academia to work for a few years and figure out what direction I wanted to go with my life. I’ve worked all sorts of jobs over the years to sample different things and figure out my personal niche, and I ultimately landed a medical scribe position in the ED that catapulted me into the health sciences. I earned Associates and Bachelors degrees in Nursing and worked as an RN full-time for the better part of the last 10 years – mostly in the Emergency Department. I had the opportunity to do travel nursing intermittently over the years, traveling the US and squeezing in a few international trips as well. I felt the pull of medicine ever since the early days of my nursing career, and in 2019 decided to finally scratch that itch and actively pursue medicine. It’s been a long 3+ years trying to get to medical school, but now being in the MSBS I am finally in the home stretch!

What initially brought you to RVU? Why did you decide to pursue this degree?
I applied to the COM in the 2021-2022 cycle but was not offered an interview. I emailed and called the admissions office to insist that they take a second look at my application, which they kindly declined, but followed up with “you might be interested in our Master’s in Biomedical Sciences program”. I attended a virtual info session with Dr. Towne and Courtney Campbell which really caught my attention as a great means of bolstering my knowledge! The opportunity to get a half-step further towards medical school made the decision a no-brainer!!

What do you enjoy doing when not at RVU (family life, interests and hobbies)?
My wife is a Veterinary Medicine student at CSU in Fort Collins, so I spend a lot of weekends in FoCo studying with her and drinking way too much coffee while we both stress about how to digest all this material! When I’m not studying or commuting, I like to cook and try new recipes, try new wines, or go rock climbing. Climbing is definitely my #1 hobby and favorite way to enjoy the natural world around us.

What is an interesting or little known fact about you:
I grew up being immersed in music from an early age – choral ensembles, symphonic band, jazz band, and marching band. I took that all the way to the collegiate level and marched in the band at Auburn University. I absolutely LOVE music, though I no longer perform or play any instruments. I miss it sometimes, but climbing took over about 15 years ago and I don’t regret that in the slightest 🙂

What is the best piece of advice you have been given by a professor or student while at RVU?
From Dr. Roberts before our first block exam this semester: “Remember, your score is just a data point and does not define your value as a person. Tomorrow is just another step on your journey.”
This really struck me because I have found we humans tend to wrap our identity and value up with our performance. However, the fact is, how we carry ourselves daily and how we treat others offers a better picture of who we truly are, and has nothing to do with our exam grades or GPA.

What are your medical interests?
I frequently daydream about working rurally and serving a smaller, spread-out community. With that said, I am keeping my mind open as I progress to the next phase. I’ll also add that since leaving the emergency department to pursue this master’s degree, I frequently find myself missing that setting and fast-paced atmosphere. So, Rural Medicine vs Emergency Medicine? Who knows?!

What is a favorite memory you have from being in RVU?
It’s hard to pinpoint a single memory from being at RVU so far, but I can confidently say that one of my favorite parts of being at RVU is the support that everyone exudes. The faculty and administrative personnel are so helpful and encouraging, and on top of that my peers are all super motivated and I find that incredibly inspiring and contagious. The atmosphere at RVU is perfect for staying focused and disciplined, and that is one of my favorite parts of being a student here.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
I will share a Calvin Coolidge quote that my grandfather bequeathed me as a young man: “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On” has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.”

Is there anything else that you would like to add?
RVUCOM Class of 2027 or bust!