Fourth-Year Medical Student Values GWU Professors Who ‘Invested in His Life’

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Tyler Beckler (’13) Plans Career in Emergency Medicine and Medical Missions 

Photo courtesy of Jon Gardiner / UNC Chapel Hill University Photographer

Tyler Beckler (’13), a native of Hickory, N.C., described himself as an idealistic 18-year-old when he arrived on campus at Gardner-Webb University. “I wanted to make people’s lives better—to change the world—but I had no idea how to do that,” he recalled.

Before the end of the first semester, though, his future started to take shape. “I was placed into ‘Anatomy and Physiology 1’ with Dr. (Tim) Zehnder, and I fell in love with the study of the human body. I just found it fascinating,” he reflected. “I felt God was opening my eyes to how he wanted to use me to make a difference in the world, through medicine. This led me down the path of preparing for medical school. However, I also recognized that people have spiritual hurt and pain just as they have physical hurt and pain. I wanted to be able to address spiritual hurt, so I decided to pursue a major in religious studies to have a better foundation of knowledge going forward with my career.”

Photo courtesy of Jon Gardiner / UNC Chapel Hill University Photographer

His GWU professors prepared him for the challenges of medical school by teaching him to be a critical thinker. “The professors poured their time and energy into our education,” he offered. “They want to teach and interact with students. They didn’t just teach me information for a test, they invested in my life and my personal development. My classes taught me how to be a self-motivated learner and how to be inquisitive. Eventually in life the tests stop and grades don’t matter anymore, but we still have to have the motivation to learn and grow. At Gardner-Webb, I was given the space to be inquisitive and encouraged to explore areas of interest. I was learning to love learning.”

A fourth-year medical student at UNC Chapel Hill, Beckler’s goal is to become an emergency medicine physician and work in a hospital, but also participate in medical mission trips in other countries. “I hope to be able to mold my career where I can spend part of my time working in the U.S. and part of my time working abroad,” he specified. “As Christians, I feel that it is our calling to go to hurting people, wherever they may be, and show them there is hope.”