Becoming a physician would give me the opportunity to learn more while giving back to other people.
Alice Schmidt spent the last decade, in her words, “as a 24-hour-a-day athlete.” In 2002, she won her first NCAA outdoor title in the 800 meters. In 2008 and 2012, she represented the United States in the Olympics, but she knew that her days as a world-class competitor were finite. For her, the logical choice was to become a physician. “I spent my career around coaches, trainers, and physicians who knew a lot about how the body works,” she says. “I found it fascinating. Becoming a physician would give me the opportunity to learn more while giving back to other people.”
Schmidt chose UVa’s Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program for its small size – about 30 students – and its academic rigor. “I do best when challenged,” she says. And as a professional athlete, she appreciates the value to be gained from knowledgeable support. “I have received a great deal of insightful and realistic guidance from all three directors,” she says.
Schmidt has also benefited from UVa’s linkage programs. She has received a provisional acceptance to medical school at George Washington University, enabling her to skip her glide year. Although her competitive days are behind her, it’s clear that doing things fast and well remains Schmidt’s priority.