Health Professions

Jared Applegate '20

Class Year


Area(s) of Study

Double Major in Neuroscience and History


Joliet, Illinois

Graduate Study

University of Michigan Medical School

What made you choose Lake Forest College? 

I found Lake Forest College largely by chance. I’ve wanted to become a physician since I was rather young. When the time came to apply to colleges, it was important to me to attend an institution that was strong in science education. I am close to my family, and it was important to me to stay rather close to home. This initially led me to apply to large universities in the Midwest that are type casted as places that someone interested in STEM subjects should attend. However, many of these schools were so large that I felt as though I may not get the personalized support that I would need during college. Once day, while scrolling through my email, I stumbled on a promotional email from Lake Forest College, and I decided to attend a visit day that was coming in the next month. I was told many times by people that when you visit a campus, sometimes it just feels right, and you realize that you can be happy there for the next four years. I experienced that feeling for the first and only time when I went to Lake Forest College. The small class sizes, beautiful campus, proximity to home, and strong science education all made the choice to attend Lake Forest Colelge feel natural. 

How did a liberal arts education make a difference for you?

It made all the difference in my passions and career goals. I am passionate about the interpretation of history and the change that the understanding of our shared past can inspire. The liberal arts environment at Lake Forest College encouraged me to pursue a history major and conduct research within it, while still working on my Neuroscience Major and pre-med coursework. My dual paths at Lake Forest College have intertwined to create my passion for understanding the history of healthcare policy, and how public perceptions can continue to shape public policy to create the best health outcomes possible. Without my liberal arts education at Lake Forest College, I would not have had intensive coursework from diverse departments that would contribute to my career goals. 

What experiences outside of the classroom do you think helped prepare you for MD studies?

My experiences outside of the classroom taught me to communicate, manage time, and lead others in ways that are impossible to experience through coursework alone. I was very active in extracurriculars at Lake Forest College. I played lacrosse, coordinated New Student Orientation, helped plan our annual Relay for Life, worked several campus jobs, served a term on the College Council, and participated in a few other opportunities. Balancing all these responsibilities with my coursework and social life wasn’t easy, but it taught me how to prioritize my time and become efficient. Those skills paid off during my gap year when I took the MCAT and applied to medical schools while I worked, volunteered, and traveled across the country with friends. My experiences at Lake Forest College taught me how to accomplish a lot with limited time, but just as importantly, I learned how to have a good time doing it. 

How did your time at Lake Forest help you prepare to apply to graduate school? 

The emphasis on communication skills that was a component of my education at Lake Forest College helped immensely when the time came to apply to medical schools. The medical school application process has an intense amount of writing and interview performance can often be a deciding factor in admission. Thankfully, the constancy and rigor of my writing and presentation assignments at LFC prepared me well for this crucial stage of medical school admission. 

What do you think of the new Health Professions Program between Lake Forest College and Rosalind Franklin University? 

 I believe the new Health Professions Program is a great resource for students who want to enter healthcare. When I attended Lake Forest College the pre-health track was less formalized, but still extremely supportive. I can only imagine how helpful it will be for students to have the framework of the Health Professions Program to explore various healthcare fields and attain the goals that they choose. 

What skills and experiences at Lake Forest College do you believe will help you be successful? 

 My experiences at Lake Forest College taught me how to become a lifelong learner. I struggled for my first two years at college, and at various times I wondered if I would be able to attend medical school. Thanks to mentorship from the outstanding faculty at the college, I was able to stay persistent and develop the skill set to do well in very hard classes. Any future success that I may have in my career will be built upon the training I received at Lake Forest College.

What advice would you give a high school student looking to pursue pre-health and is considering Lake Forest College? 

I would encourage any high school student to visit the College and see if it is the right fit for you. If you put in the work, Lake Forest College will get you wherever you want to go. Most of my peers at my medical school went to many of the top ranked higher education institutions in the country. I feel just as prepared as them to take on the rigors of medical school due to the quality of my education at Lake Forest college.