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Med School Acceptance a Slam Dunk for UAlbany Grad

David Wiegmann graduates from UAlbany to fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor but leaving behind great memories of playing in two NCAA basketball tournaments and making friends with teammates from Denmark and Australia. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 12, 2014) -- David Wiegmann of Breese, Ill., always knew he wanted to go to medical school. He also has a passion for basketball. It was just about setting up the right combination of hoops and pre-health. At UAlbany, he found the right mix.

A personal experience with surgery in 2010 made Wiegmann certain that medical school was the right path for him. Making eye contact with others was once a struggle for him. Wiegmann had successful muscle surgery on his left eye at age 18 to correct his slight amblyopia, or lazy eye.

“The positive impact on my confidence was unimaginable,” he said. “One day I will have the same profound effect on my patients.”   Wiegmann’s family, including dad Ron, mom Lisa, sister Katelin and his grandparents are flying in for his UAlbany graduation. He stayed closer to his hometown of Breese, near St. Louis, Mo., for his first two years of school, attending Southwestern Illinois Junior College before transferring to UAlbany.

“Being in the Northeast is a huge advantage when it comes to medical school networking and the opportunities presented to you in the field,” said Wiegmann, a human biology major. He is also one of four captains of the men's basketball team. “With basketball I had the opportunity to be part of a great group. After playing in two NCAA tournaments I feel really lucky to have made the right decision for both school and athletics.”

Being at UAlbany broadened his world: He met classmates and teammates from across the U.S. as well from Australia, Denmark, and the Republic of Georgia.

“I’m excited to graduate, but I don’t want to leave the people I’ve formed such a close bond with,” said Wiegmann. “Being able to learn from teammates who are so different from me is something I’m definitely going to miss.”

Wiegmann illustrates the emphasis placed on academics by UAlbany scholar-athletes, and is a recipient of the prestigious 2014 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

“I’m so used to every moment being scheduled between school, practice and extracurricular activities. I don’t like to sit around and do nothing, so I’ve been trying to pick up some new hobbies.”

In addition to his commitments with the UAlbany men’s basketball team, Wiegmann has volunteered his time at the Albany Bone and Joint Center, where he worked in research and clinical observing. He has worked with the Crohn’s Disease and Colitis Walk, Campus Clean-Up, Adopt-A-Family, “Light the Night,” the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk, Relay for Life and the Hurricane Sandy Relief effort.

Wiegmann was accepted to the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Michigan, and will start on August 4. He has interests in dermatology, orthopedics, and radiology.

Between graduation and then he plans to take a vacation with his family, and compete in a Tough Mudder in Virginia with his sister, Katelin.  

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