Dr. Megan (Pelton) Schuckman shared advice she’s gleaned from the past six years at the annual Chadron State College Health Professions Honors Banquet Thursday night.
Schuckman, a graduate of Chadron State College and Chadron High School, is currently a medical resident in Rapid City, S.D. where she lives with her husband, Ben, and their daughter, Elli.
As the guest speaker for the banquet, she entertained CSC health professions students, faculty, staff and administrators with a PowerPoint presentation she said she prepared during a shift at 2 a.m.
“Leaving home for the first time at age 22 was difficult, but it was time for the next step and to move on with my life,” she said of her move to Omaha after graduating from CSC.
Her father, Ed Pelton, a medical doctor in Chadron and native of Crawford, Neb., asked her several times during her medical studies if it was really something she truly wanted to pursue.
She said after failing one test in medical school, she paused to truly determine if it was her calling or if she was just trying to follow her father’s footsteps and prove her belief that “anything boys can do, girls can do better.” She concluded, after a period of deep reflection, that she was dedicated to this career path.
Schuckman recounted normal life events such as getting married, buying a house and having a child that were interspersed with her intense medical studies.
"Images of large classes and long, lonely hours studying thick books full of difficult material accurately represent professional school, but when the third year of medical school begins, you have more contact with patients which makes the work become more enjoyable," she said.
Other students who arrived at the University of Nebraska Medical School from nationally known universities displayed a “university snob” attitude toward Schuckman when they discovered she had attended a state college.
Schuckman had the last laugh in two ways. Many of these naysayers were hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt when they arrived at UNMC compared to her small debt from earning her undergraduate degree at CSC. Secondly, as her classmates realized she was better prepared than many of them, they began to approach her and request tutoring.
She finished one year in the top 25% of the Anatomy and Physiology class, a feat that was literally applauded by the CSC science faculty in the audience during her presentation.
Following the conclusion of Schuckman's remarks, Jill Mack, director of health professions and RHOP, wished the group well. Karen Pope, director of development and alumni, presented each of the students advancing to professional school with a gift from the Alumni Association.
Outgoing and incoming officers of the Health Professions Club were honored in addition to the following students.
RURAL HEALTH OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM students advancing to the University of Nebraska Medical Center
Dentistry (Lincoln): Brooklyn Barelmann, Chambers, Neb., Megan Eitemiller, Chadron
Nursing (Scottsbluff): Chantal Heathers, Imperial, Neb., Julie Jordan, Chambers, Neb., Abbie Rademacher, Loup City, Neb.
Pharmacy (Omaha): Corey Paz, Indianola, Neb.
Radiography (Omaha): Jerrilyn Scherbarth, Hay Springs, Neb.
TRADITIONAL PRE-PROFESSIONAL students advancing to graduate schools
Dentistry: Lucas Kaufman, Torrington, Wyo., UNMC
Dental Hygiene: Kathryn Kenning, Elwood, Neb., Central Community College-Hastings
Nursing: Sydney Jundt, Norfolk, Neb., UNMC
Optometry: Jordyn Stevens, Midwestern University in Glendale, Ariz., Chadron, Neb.
Physical Therapy Assistant: Karly Watson, Grand Island, Neb., Nebraska Methodist
Physical Therapy: Christa Wolf, Pierre, S.D., University of South Dakota-Vermillion
Radiography: Taylor Greear, Worland, Wyo., Regional West Medical Center
Veterinary Medicine: Mara Seifer, Tryon, Neb., Iowa State University
Graduate School: Beth Wroblewski, St. Paul, Neb., Chadron State College
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