University News

Four Brothers Find Medical Success in SUU Pre-Med Program

Published: February 06, 2015 | Category: Academics

The Potter brothers

When asked how she felt when her eldest son was accepted to medical school, Lisa Potter’s voice began to waver, “I was so proud to see his determination and hard work finally pay off.”

For years she watched her son, James, work tirelessly spending countless nights in Southern Utah University’s Gerald R. Sherratt Library to earn that prestigious acceptance letter. Now a resident anesthesiologist, the Potter family sees James’ medical achievements as outstanding, but he wasn’t the last of Mrs. Potter’s sons to travel down a medicinal path.

With each of her sons either practicing medicine, in medical school or finalizing his bachelor’s, one may wonder what motivated all four of these young men to reach for such lofty goals.

David, the third youngest son, attributes their success to how they were raised.  “Growing up in a small town like Price, Utah, we learned the value of hard work at a young age. My father owned a hotel business and it was expected that we would help out.”

Whenever he complained, David remembers his father telling him that if he didn’t want to be doing manual labor for the rest of his life, he would need a good education. So, like his brothers before him, when the time came David enrolled at Southern Utah University.

“I knew it was a great university,” David recalled, “My brothers had nothing but good to say about their experiences, and after researching, I discovered that SUU had exactly the type of programs I was looking for.”

One of these influential programs was Rural Health Scholars (RHS). Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the program continues to be one of the most respected medical school preparation organizations in the state.

The program supports students from rural areas, such as the Potter brothers, to gain an education and then return to those areas to practice medicine. While in the program students increase their likelihood of being accepted into a professional healthcare program and are even encouraged to travel to foreign countries to volunteer and provide medical services to underserved areas.

“I remember going to Mexico with my brothers, James and Derek, before I joined RHS. At the time I was just a translator, but when I saw all the good that the group was doing, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”

That decision has now led David to graduating from SUU in spring 2014 and was accepted into the Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University, where he says his experiences in RHS and SUU thoroughly prepared him for the rigorous coursework he has now.

“I have classmates now who came from nationally known universities and I don’t feel behind in any way. In fact, in many of my classes I feel like I have been much better prepared than my classmates,” David stated.

Along with David’s success, his elder brother Derek Potter, who is now dermatologist physician assistant in Roosevelt, Utah, has reaped the same success from being involved in RHS. He said, “Being a member of RHS helped me get into the rotations in rural Utah. These experiences opened doors for job opportunities after my training was complete"

This is good news for the youngest brother, Scott Potter, as he finalizes his time at SUU with an acceptance letter in hand to the University of Utah School of Medicine. Along with RHS, Scott was able to complete undergraduate alongside a professor, setting him apart on his application.

He said, “We have incredibly committed faculty here at SUU who foster relationships with their students to help them achieve their goals. SUU is a big enough university to have exposure to a little bit of everything but small enough for that exposure to have meaning.” 



Contact Information:
Jennifer Burt
435-586-1997
burt@suu.edu