Mitchell County native Brandon King has been accepted to the UNC School of Medicine for the 2020 fall semester.
King, who was a student-athlete in track-and-field and cross country in high school at Mitchell and college at UNC Greensboro, said running is ultimately what led him to want to be a doctor.
“Coming into high school, I didn’t have any interest in any particular occupation, but I knew that I had a passion for running,” he said. “Whenever I got hurt or injured, I would have to try to figure out, ‘What’s going on with my body?’ and ‘How can I fix it?’ and that led to a real interest in anatomy.”
For his senior project in high school, King shadowed an orthopedic surgeon. Through that experience, he said he realized how seriously some injuries could affect people’s lives.
“I saw these people who weren’t able to go and do things that they wanted to do and felt like they lost a part of themselves,” he said. “It made me realize that there are people out there that are missing so much of their life and missing activities that they love. Because I could empathize with that with my injuries from running, that’s when I decided that I really wanted to go into medicine.”
King has been working as an emergency medical scribe and floor trainer at UNC Rockingham Hospital in Eden for three years. He said working in emergency rooms has influenced what type of medicine he’s interested in going into, but he hasn’t yet made up his mind.
“I like emergency medicine a lot because it’s spontaneous,” he said. “You never know what’s going to come through the door, and I’m the type of guy who’s always up and going everywhere, so it fits my personality well, I think. But, I haven’t been exposed to other aspects of medicine, such as surgery, so I don’t know for sure.”
While he’s excited, King said he’s also nervous based on the things he has heard about medical school.
“I’ve heard horror stories about how intense it all is because of the amount of information they’re throwing at you,” he said. “It’s like getting ready to get hit by a truck, but you’re excited about it.”
King was a member of the Mitchell High School Class of 2014 and graduated summa cum laude from UNC Greensboro in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in biology.