March Alumni Connection

 In Alumni News, Press Releases, Vanguard Blog

The March Alumni Connection


Jonathan Dallas always knew that he wanted to have a career in healthcare, but it wasn’t until a few years into college that he knew exactly what that meant.

“I grew up as an amputee who was blessed with the help of a wonderful healthcare team and, as a result of that, I understand and appreciate the enormous effect that medicine can have on people who need it,” Jonathan said.

After graduating from Vanguard in 2012, he attended Washington University in St. Louis, earning a degree in biomedical engineering, with his eye on a possible career in research, prosthetics, or engineering. He is currently attending Vanderbilt University School of Medicine as an M.D. candidate, class of 2020.

“I always knew that I wanted to be involved in medicine, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided to attend medical school,” he said. “My decision was primarily because I enjoy the human interaction involved.”

For Jonathan, that interaction fuels his passion for the field.

“Everyone in medicine, especially the patients themselves, has their own stories, and it’s both interesting and humbling to be able to interact with them and be a part of their lives,” he said.

Although Jonathan has not committed to a specialty, he is interested in both surgery and prosthetic innovation, like neural control and various surgical approaches.

“I have a background in engineering from my undergraduate, so I would like to work that into my future medical practice and research,” he said.

He also hopes to work with translational research, applying research progress in ways that are both practical and beneficial to patients.

“Given that medical knowledge is always growing, there are plenty of chances to learn new things, apply them, and make a difference in someone else’s life,” Jonathan said.

That desire to continuously learn and explore areas more deeply is something Jonathan first experienced at Vanguard.

“While there are, obviously, classes that everyone has to take, Vanguard allowed me to simultaneously develop my personal interests, whether they were in the chemistry lab or on the basketball court,” he said. “I was also involved in a number of extracurricular activities, so I learned how to efficiently manage my time and prioritize tasks as needed.”

Jonathan’s memories of Vanguard are wrapped up in academic and athletic highlights, but are also about the people who touched his life.

“If I had to pick one memory, the first thing that comes to mind is winning the district in basketball and making it to the state tournament,” he said. “But I especially enjoyed the senior lounge and my entire senior year in general. I was really glad that I got to spend more time with friends before we all went our separate ways.”

He hopes that current Vanguard students are developing those same personal connections while exploring their own possibilities.

“Learning in class isn’t the only part of high school,” Jonathan said. “While it’s important, I think one of the most crucial things is to get involved and develop interests that can be furthered later on. And take advantage of the resources at Vanguard, especially the teachers who are eager to help students. That can be invaluable.”

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