Casey Bryant '04 graduated with a M.D. from Eastern VA Medical School.
What do magic tricks, football and the liberal arts have in common? All three played
a role in Casey Bryant’s decision to become a doctor.
“When I was growing up I had a fantastic family physician, Dr. Dennis Burns, who
used magic tricks—such as pretending to pull plastic bugs out of my ears during
an examination—in order to calm my fears,” says Bryant. “As I got older I wanted
to emulate him, and that led me to pursue a career in medicine.”
Bryant, who hails from Madison Heights, Virginia—“an area affectionately known to
locals as Hog Town,” he quips—touched down in Ashland for the first time as a football recruit.
“After my dreams of being drafted right out of high school to play in the NFL fell
through, I began looking for a place where I could continue playing football while
pursuing a liberal arts education,” says Bryant, who played defensive tackle for
four years and was voted team captain his senior year. “In addition, I was looking
for a college with a reputation for being exceptional in the sciences, and after
my scholarship meeting with Biology Professor Jim Foster I knew that Randolph-Macon
was a perfect fit.”
Bryant planned to major in biology, but a helpful
nudge by Chemistry Professor Serge Schreiner added another major to the mix.
“The choice to major in biology was made in conjunction with my wonderful advisor,
Biology Professor Emeritus Art Conway, as a result of my interests and the conventional
wisdom at the time that you majored in biology in order to be accepted into medical
school,” explains Bryant. “The addition of a chemistry
major was the result of Professor Schreiner’s advice. I had a much larger course
load as a result! But in all seriousness, it was a fantastic decision that broadened
my knowledge and undoubtedly helped me gain acceptance into medical school.”
On May 19, 2012, Bryant graduated with a M.D. from Eastern Virginia Medical School
in Norfolk, Virginia. At the ceremony he was presented the Excellence in Emergency
Medicine Award, which is given annually by the school’s Emergency Medicine faculty
to a graduating student who demonstrates outstanding achievement in that field.
Also selected into the Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism Honor Societies, he says
his four years in medical school were grueling, but well worth the effort.
“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wife, Jane Taylor Bryant,” he
says. “Despite having her own career to focus on, she was always there to help put
the stresses of medical school into proper perspective. I also benefited greatly
from her phenomenal cooking, while many of my classmates survived on Ramen noodles
and hospital food.”
In July 2012 Bryant began a three-year Emergency Medicine residency training program
at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
“After that, I see myself pursuing fellowship training in some area of interest
such as Critical Care Medicine,” says Bryant. “Ultimately, I want to combine teaching
and a clinical practice.”
Med school left little time for anything else, but Bryant has made it back to campus
several times to speak to R-MC
pre-health students. He often tags along with Dr. Ed Lilly ’64 during his
“I also attend a couple of football games a year with Taylor and our loveable pit
bull, Buddy,” he says. “It was great watching the team defeat Hampden-Sydney last
year. The new facilities
are going to be a real asset and Coach Arruza has done a wonderful job with the
program. I’m sure the best is yet to come. Go Jackets!”
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