Timothy O'Rourke '13, MD '17

Timothy O'Rourke

Lisa O'Rourke was the picture of health, rising at 3 every morning to exercise. That's what made the diagnosis so shocking.

"The brain tumor came out of nowhere," said her son Tim.

Fortunately, the tumor was benign and Mrs. O'Rourke was able to make a full recovery thanks to the doctors at New York University's Langone Medical Center. The quality care she received left an indelible mark on O'Rourke, who was a freshman in high school at the time.

"It was a high-risk procedure," O'Rourke said. "It was shocking because you don't really think about the vulnerability of the people who are close to you. It was so motivating to watch the doctors take care of her. From that point, I knew I wanted to have the type of impact these physicians had on my mother on other people."

Eight years later, O'Rourke is not only enrolled in Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, but he is also president of the inaugural class.

O'Rourke grew up in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. He earned a bachelor's degree in biomedical sciences in May 2013 and started medical school three months later.

"In order to go into medicine, you really have to be motivated," he said. "It takes a lot of hard work just to be give this opportunity to get in. I took that and ran with it and worked as hard as I possibly could as an undergraduate."

Quinnipiac was one of three medical schools to accept O'Rourke.

"I had such a tremendous experience as an undergraduate that I wanted to stay at Quinnipiac," he said. "I love the environment and I like the people here. I know the area well. I feel comfortable here. I feel like this is the place for me."

O'Rourke's familiarity with Quinnipiac is one of the many reasons his classmates elected him president. At 22 years old, he is one of the youngest students in the Class of 2017. 

"To be given the opportunity to be in this position to represent our class means a lot to me," he said. "It means that people have faith in me."

When he isn't studying, O'Rourke enjoys playing intramural flag football on a team with his classmates. He also enjoys watching and playing sports and reading.

"Medical school is very busy and there is a lot of material that's being covered in a short amount of time," he said. "It's manageable, but you need to be focused and disciplined. You have to study every day - you can't take days off. You also need to be a well-balanced individual in anything you do. You need to find time to be by yourself and kind of recharge. If you just keep going, going and going, you'll burn out."

Hear more from Tim as he reflects on his first year in medical school (video)

October 2013

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