By: Sabrina Salvador, Health Care & Science Career Community Ambassador

On Thursday, October 15, the Health Care & Science Career Community team sat down with DePaul students to learn about the educational and career journey of DePaul alum, Torin Grogan (Class of 2018). From a Health Sciences major on a pre-med track to a Rehab Clinical Assistant aspiring to become a physical therapist, Torin shared his story of getting involved in mentoring, leadership, and research opportunities while at DePaul and clinical experiences afterwards. In this event, he highlighted his experiences of exploring a variety of clinical health professions which allowed him to discover his own career passions and goals.

Check out the video below for the full event!

Torin’s career pivot from doctor to physical therapist:

During my gap year I realized my heart wasn’t in the right place for medical school. I slowly started asking myself, “Do I really want to be a doctor? Do I really want this to be the rest of my life?” Then, something clicked right before I submitted my medical school applications. I did not want to go to medical school anymore, but I had to think, “What are my options? What am I going to do?” At this point, I had a job as a Rehab Clinical Assistant at Lurie Children’s Hospital. This is what I’m currently doing now. I remember working one day with other physical therapists in the room and they asked, “Torin, why do you want to be a doctor?” I told them my story, then the manager of the PT Department laughed in the background and said, “Torin, it sounds like you want to be a PT!” And everyone echoed, “Yeah, it sounds like you want to be a PT! Everything you described is what a PT is!” Then I started researching what a PT was, and I started job shadowing PTs. I absolutely fell in love with what PTs were. 

Encouraging career exploration for pre-health students:

Explore all of your options before committing to something that you don’t fully understand. For example, most pre-med students commit their freshman year to becoming a doctor before shadowing, working in a clinic, or understanding what being a doctor really is. I would say do your research and explore all of your options first by shadowing different positions, watching videos, etc. I formed my identity around becoming a doctor, and once I gave that up I thought, “Who am I?” It was a weird transition, but it’s okay to change. I’m still young, and I have time to figure it out. Don’t be in a rush just to figure it out. It’s okay to pivot and change directions, but do your research and really figure out, “Is this something you can do every single day for your life? Is this your true passion? What’s important to you?”

Advice on following your passions and achieving your goals:

Do what you’re passionate about. If you enjoy something, do it and get those experiences. Own what you like to do! Follow your passions! Take every opportunity you can find at DePaul. There are so many opportunities at DePaul and you never know what you’re going to fall in love with.

Explore clinical professions in healthcare! Check out these relevant resources: