TTUHSC student details path from combat medic to future physicia - FOX34 Lubbock

TTUHSC student details path from combat medic to future physician

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The path to a career in medicine started Friday for 180 students at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center White Coat Ceremony.

The Dean of the College of Medicine, Steven Berk, said while they share the same goal, most students have their own unique origin. 

"Many have had other careers. They've been pilots, they've been in the Army, they've been English teachers, physics teachers, scientists, nurses, EMTs, so some have had second careers," Berk said.

Chelsea Gerlicki is one of those white coat recipients with a different path.

She served in the U.S. Navy for five years as a combat medic in Afghanistan, upon graduating high school.

Gerlicki said her passion to join the military came from her family history of veterans, specifically in World War II.

"My grandfather served in the Yugoslavian Navy. Him, my grandmother, and my two oldest aunts and uncle all lived in a concentration camp for six months during the war. They unfortunately lost their son during the war, and after the war, they stayed in Europe for a few more years before emigrating to Chicago," Gerlicki said.

Gerlicki said she is now leaving her military career behind to pursue her dream as a physician.

Serving her country on the battlefield already, she said she is called to serve in a different way. 

"I've just always loved medicine since I was a little kid. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up, and I always loved playing doctor with my grandfather. That's definitely why I went into the military. I come from a family of service. My grandfather was in the Navy, my father was a police officer, so it only seemed fitting that I served my country as well," Gerlicki said.

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