Bachelor’s degree leads to medical school in the Caribbean for Dillan Frazier

In a few months after graduating from Georgia Highlands College, Dillan Frazier will fly out to the Caribbean to attend the Trinity School of Medicine located at St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Dillan started as a GHC dual enrollment student in high school and will finish at GHC with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science. From the moment he started, the goal was always to find a path to graduate school. And for Dillan, this is another step toward a career in medicine that the bachelor’s program at GHC has prepared him for.

After GHC, Dillan will attend his first two years of medical school in the Caribbean, then will conclude medical school in Warner Robins, Georgia.

“Following medical school, I plan to match at a top teaching hospital for Cardiothoracic surgery,” he said. “I will complete a one-year internship and a five-year residency upon completion of medical school. After becoming a Cardiothoracic Surgeon, I will work my way to the Chief of Surgery. My goal is to eventually come back to my community and help keep them healthy.”

A Cardiothoracic Surgeon specializes in surgical procedures of the heart, lungs, esophagus and other organs in the chest.

Dillan said the Trinity School of Medicine is his top choice for medical school, largely due to its student-centered objective.

“The school cares for the students. The teacher ratio is 1:10, and therefore, it allows interaction between professor and student to enable me to grasp the material better,” Frazier said. “Trinity Medical School reminds me a lot of GHC. I am accustomed to professors who care and want their students to succeed. Therefore, I was drawn into this medical school due to my experience at GHC.”

Frazier said he was “speechless” when he learned he had been accepted.

“I never dreamed of going to medical school 6,333 miles away from home. I could not believe that I had been accepted to medical school in my first admissions cycle,” Frazier said. “Being accepted proved that hard work, dedication, and discipline will get you to your dream goal, mine becoming a Cardiothoracic Surgeon.”

Beginning GHC as a dual enrollment student in 2018, Dillan said he knew from day one he wanted to pursue a degree focused on medicine. At that time, GHC had yet to offer a Bachelor of Science in Health Science, so he planned on transferring to another institution.

But in the summer of 2020, Dillan met with an advisor who changed the trajectory of his plan. He learned that beginning fall 2020, GHC would offer a bachelor’s in health science.

“My advisor, [Assistant Director of Advising] Laura Walton, explained that the program was for pre-medical students to be able to attend medical school,” he said. “Seeing the opportunity to save money and dig digger into medicine, I decided to stay at GHC and attend the program. Being in the program was the best decision, as many universities do not offer a medical-based bachelor’s degree but rather a degree in the broad sciences.”

Currently, Dillan works as a Patient Care Technician at Piedmont Cartersville Medical Center and says the experience at GHC and his internship have given him an excellent foundation for becoming a doctor.

He said the most inspiring part of the Bachelor of Health Science program was being able to apply his education directly to the workplace — and vice versa.

“Being a staff member at the hospital gave me a direct experience that allowed me to engage further in my health sciences courses,” he said.

Inside the classroom, Dillan said the best experience he had at GHC came from meeting professors that care for their students.

“Every professor that I have taken from my dual enrollment classes in 2018 to my last semester at GHC in 2022 has been a blessing,” he said. “I encourage all students to pursue their dreams and let nothing stop them. I appreciate all the hard work that the professors have put in to allow me to engage in the course material and apply it to my future endeavors.”