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December 16, 2019

Alumni Profile – Erik Davies ’08

Erik Davies ’08 says his Asheville School experience was outstanding preparation for college, medical school, and beyond. Erik will graduate from UNC School of Medicine in 2021 with a specialization in radiation oncology. He and other Asheville School alumni pursuing advanced studies or working in the field of medicine gathered recently in Chapel Hill with Director of Alumni Relations Burt Gordon ’86.

“The process of getting into medical school is kind of opaque, and there’s a lot of fiction circulating online about how to do it,” Erik said. “I love sharing my path to medical school with younger alumni. . .My own process was pretty nontraditional—I was not pre-med in college and became a high school teacher—so my message to young alums is to indulge their interests even if there’s no clear relationship to medicine. Unusual experiences will only be an asset to you.”

In teaching physics to high school students, Erik says he relied on the knowledge he took from Ms. Cianciulli more than his college coursework. “I use the statistics I learned from Dr. Hill daily, and I will use it daily during residency and as an attending physician,” he said. “Asheville School’s preparation for written and verbal communication is unparalleled, though. We live in a time when it’s easier than ever to substitute screen time for human interaction. The importance of great communication has not been diluted, though. My ability to communicate well has only magnified my success. Learning to write concise and complete ideas in Asheville School humanities classes has translated to meaningful documentation of clinical encounters. Learning to speak compassionately but straightforwardly has made coaching patients and breaking hard news easier. I don’t think I appreciated as a student that our seated meals were in part an exercise in emotional intelligence.”

The community of Asheville School extends beyond campus through the alumni network. We are grateful for alumni, like Erik, who stay connected and mentor younger Blues as they begin their career paths or navigate changes along the way. Go BLUES!