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Bryan Burk

Bryan E. Burk, MD 
Instructor of Gross Anatomy 
burk1@marshall.edu 

I am an Instructor of Gross Anatomy at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.  As an undergraduate and graduate student at Marshall University, I tailored my class schedule to feature as many courses that pertained to medicine as possible. Courses like Molecular Biology, Bacteriology, Mycology, Biomedical Physics, and Animal Physiology, on top of the required courses, started a good foundation to build on in medical school. As a student at Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, I was fortunate to receive a top-class education from many of my current colleagues. My pre-clinical courses laid a strong foundation to build on and utilize in practicing medicine during my clinical years. Gross Anatomy was the course I enjoyed most. I could see and touch what we were discussing in class. For the first time, I was able to see the pathology that can result from smoking, diabetes, renal failure, abnormalities in lipid metabolism, and other diseases we were learning. Clinical rotations helped strengthen my ability to better formulate diagnoses, and come up with a plan of treatment, utilizing what I had learned in my pre-clinical years. Additionally, clinical rotations taught me to apply all the basic science that I had gained during my first two years of medical school, in a real-world setting. While Studying for Step Two of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE), I realized I had gotten away from following physiology and the rest of my basic sciences training to formulate diagnoses, decide what medication was best, and understand and predict side effects of treatments and medications. I went to the P.A.S.S. Program to help overcome testing anxiety and prepare for USMLE Step Two. After graduating from Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University I started working at the P.A.S.S. Program while studying for USMLE Step Three, which is where my passion for teaching began. While at P.A.S.S., I was able to teach and tutor students from many different medical schools around the world, ranging from students studying for USMLE Step One, to physicians studying for their board examinations. I learned how to help them through testing anxiety, how to teach and refresh their basic sciences, as well as teach them how to use the basic sciences to get to the next step of diagnosis, and treatment. Teaching is very fulfilling, being able to help students become the best physicians they can be and helping them optimize learning and decrease stress are of the utmost importance. For me, medical school was a bumpy road. From health issues, uncovering a learning disability, to test anxiety, and outside stressors, I experienced more than my share of challenges while in medical school. I have grown to appreciate most of those challenges because they have helped me learn even more from medical school, than I would have learned had I sailed right through. As an instructor at Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, I continue to learn and adapt. I plan to keep learning and employing new techniques to pass on knowledge and skills that I have learned. In the future I want to bring the use of ultrasound in to help with teaching anatomy, I look forward to broadening the topics I teach.