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March Alumni Spotlight Dr. Perry Hamilton, MD – Fellow and Resident Physician

Dr. Perry Hamilton, MD – Fellow and Resident Physician

Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Medicine at UC Davis Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine and Boise State Post-baccalaureate Alumni

Perry describes himself as ambitious, driven, and silly.

Perry Hamilton hails from the small and rural town of Buhl, Idaho, where he was raised in a population of about 4000 people. Perry Hamilton graduated from the College of Idaho but spent his post-baccalaureate years at Boise State University completing his pre-medical course work. He was profoundly hardworking while taking a rigorous science course load and serving in numerous volunteer activities ranging from participating at the Idaho Food Bank to Big Brothers/Big Sisters. He also worked in the St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Nampa, Idaho, as a scribe, where he was later promoted to Chief Scribe. Throughout his time at Boise State, he was seen interacting with advisors, research faculty, and peers. There is no doubt that his dedication and passion for serving others have allowed him such great success as a physician.

What is it like being a doctor during a pandemic?

Being a chief resident at the start of the pandemic was wild. We initially didn’t have enough PPE, and the rules for PPE requirements in the OR seemed to be changing daily. There was a constant stream of communication from hospital administration through department leaders to residents, and those daily e-mails/meetings went on for months. At this point, we have all adjusted to the “new normal” in the hospital, so I haven’t seen many of my colleagues’ faces in months. I have to say the most frustrating thing for myself and many of my colleagues have been such a significant portion of the US population ignoring science and refusing to wear masks in public. I’m very thankful that we finally have a vaccine, and am hopeful that we’ll be able to expedite the distribution of that to the public in the coming months.

What do you think was the most important experience you had at Boise State?

I made a lot of wonderful friends and have a lot of great memories surrounding the “hay day” of Boise State football, so in non-academic/career terms, those were some of my most cherished experiences. As far as experiences that were the most important for getting me where I am today, I think meeting early on with Glenda Hill and attending pre-medical conferences to make sure I knew what was required of me in order to successfully apply to medical school was probably the most influential/important.

What resources did you use at Boise State to prepare you for your medical career?

Although I utilized advice from my professors and previous pre-medical students who had successfully applied to medical school, I think the strongest resource I used was Glenda Hill and the Pre-Professional Health Advising Coordinators. They really helped me see the path from starting my undergraduate biology studies to gaining acceptance to medical school, and all the various obstacles in between.

Do you think Boise State prepared you for your professional school career?

I have to honestly say it was probably a combination of my undergraduate years at the College of Idaho AND Boise State that prepared me. I really learned how to think about problems and potential realistic solutions to those problems at the College of Idaho, and then learned how to study science and medicine as a student at Boise State.

What would you tell yourself now knowing what you know now about applying to medical school?

I would tell 23 or 24-year-old Perry to calm the hell down. Everything is going to be okay. You don’t have to be the best at everything or everything to everyone. You have a lot on your plate. Do the best you can, and find peace and comfort in knowing you’re giving it your all. Take more time for yourself, and don’t get too lost in the weeds of being a part of every research project or volunteer opportunity that comes your way. And if you aren’t successful in your first application to medical school, know that you are definitely not alone, and the year “off” before the next application cycle may just be the best one of your life. It’s all going to work out in the end, and if you don’t give up, you will eventually get where you’re trying to go.

What do you wish you would have known before becoming a medical student?

Having already completed my finance degree prior to starting my biology studies at Boise State, I think I had really done my homework and generally knew what to expect going in. I think most people in my shoes look back and wish they knew just how busy, time-consuming, and taxing the path would be. There are many sleepless nights along the way. The road to becoming a doctor and completing residency is a difficult one. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but I still find it so rewarding and very much worth it.

Would you like to learn more from Dr. Perry Hamilton MD, please email Erin Colburn for his contact information.