As the son of two nurses and an only child, Troy Kotsch figured it was inevitable that he would follow his parents into the medical field.
Kotsch enrolled at Kent State University as an undergraduate student, but life quickly took a terrible. During his sophomore year, Kotsch’s father unexpectedly passed away.
“I actually ended up being the one that gave him CPR. That was when I knew for sure that I could be a doctor and that it was what I wanted to do. Giving your strength to someone else who doesn’t have their own – I think that is the biggest honor you can give someone in this world,” says Kotsch, now a rising second-year Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine student.
Kotsch took a year off from school to be home with his mother, and still managed to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years. Just as things started to look up again, Kotsch took another hit on the day of graduation, when his mother was diagnosed with leukemia.
Just as Kotsch fought for a spot at NEOMED, his mother fought through rounds of chemo. Throughout his first year of medical school, Kotsch made a name for himself at NEOMED while caring for his mother during her recuperation.
Kotsch’s sense of compassion and ability to move forward won him a nomination for NEOMED’s Outstanding Student Leader award.
Honored and involved
“My biggest passion is being able to serve my peers and to hopefully make whatever community I’m working in a better place,” says Kotsch.
Just in one academic year, he represented his peers as on NEOMED’s Student Curriculum Council, established himself as an Admissions Committee representative for first- and second-year College of Medicine students, served as a tour guide during the University’s LCME visit and enrolled in NEOMED’s Rural Medical Education Pathway — a program he is thankful for.
“It’s been a really good learning experience and an incredibly supportive community for me throughout everything that I’ve been going through with my mom while I’ve been here. It’s nice to have people who believe in you, especially during the times when you don’t believe in yourself. I appreciate that there are people here to give you the confidence you need and to reassure you that you know you’re in the right place and you’re doing the right thing,” says Kotsch.
No matter where he ends up practicing, Kotsch knows one thing for sure: He wants to be prepared to take care of his patient population in the best way possible.