Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

OSU-OKC Provided Science Foundation for Graduate’s Path to Medical School

A human anatomy class during her freshmen year at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC) ignited Jolee Hernandez-Suddock’s passion for forensic pathology, which propelled her to medical school and earning a prestigious rotation at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


Now a fourth-year medical student at Oklahoma State University-Center for Health Sciences (OSU-CHS) in Tulsa, Suddock spoke to current OSU-OKC science students last week about the path that helped her realize her dream.


“My decision to go to medical school was because of my experience at OSU-OKC,” Suddock said. “It was at OSU-OKC that I fell in love with anatomy and I was given the opportunity to work as a dissection technician in the cadaver lab and supplement instruction, which furthered my passion and inspired me to continue and go on to medical lab school. Having that opportunity to work directly with the students and instructors while continuing to learn really helped me along my path.”


Dissecting a cadaver opened her eyes to the marvels of the human body that was deepened by working part-time at a local hospital shadowing pathologists.


Suddock said she chose to attend OSU-OKC after graduating from high school to stay close to home. “During my freshman year in college, I was instructed to take human anatomy because it would be ‘beneficial in vet school.’ I was fortunate to have a very inspirational professor, Dr. Dean Scherer [professor of anatomy and physiology], an excellent mentor who motivated me to continuously give my best and never accept mediocrity. With his help, I built the foundation I needed to do well in medical school. Following the class, I immediately took on a student position at OSU-OKC as a dissection technician. This allowed me to become more familiar with anatomy and explore my interest in the medical field. I soon recognized that although working with animals was enjoyable, it was not my passion.”


For her achievements, leadership qualities and outstanding scholarship, Suddock received the 2014 American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Academic Excellence and Achievement in Pathology Award during her first year of medical school at OSU-CHS. She was one of only 10 medical students in the United States to earn the award and the only student to receive the highest honor, “Gold Recipient,” designation.


As a fourth-year medical student at OSU-CHS, Suddock, was awarded a one-month rotation in pathology at the renowned Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, widely considered the leading pathology department in the world. During the rotation, Suddock had the opportunity to spend time in several subspecialties, including neuropathology, microbiology and the medical examiner’s office.


In medical school, she has served as a student teaching assistant and as president of the student Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Club.


Suddock gave current OSU-OKC students some advice for succeeding. “Although the classes [at OSU-OKC] seem difficult, they’re fundamental. Find an internal motivation that you want to use to succeed and focus on it. Just know that the education experience you get here at OSU-OKC is a quality one. You’re getting a top education and whatever field you end up in, you will have a good knowledge base for it.”


Suddock said staying within the OSU system to complete her medical education was important to her. “I’m proud to be a student in the osteopathic program at OSU-CHS and to have the ability to stay within the OSU family. It really is a family and I love that I can continue my training here.”

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Jolee Suddock-Hernandez spoke to current OSU-OKC science students last week about finding the path that ultimately helped her realize her dream of pursuing pathology. (Photos by Michelle Talamantes).

Jolee Suddock-Hernandez
Jolee Suddock-Hernandez