Graduate Profiles

Nicholas Wilcox, LSM ‘12

Hometown: 
London, England
College Major: 
Biology
Wharton Concentrations: 
Health Care Management

What are you doing currently?

I am an MD/MHS candidate at Yale, where I am currently pursuing a year of research in the field of cardiovascular immunology on a fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

How do you feel LSM helped prepare you for life after college?

LSM’s scientific coursework and the numerous research opportunities that I obtained through the program’s summer internships were formative experiences. My early exposure to the scientific method influenced my thought process when approaching challenging problems both at the patient’s bedside and in the laboratory. It also fostered an appreciation for data-driven and evidence-based decision making. More directly, I developed an interest in immunology that continues to this day, which I have since applied in research roles at leading laboratories both after graduation at Penn, and now at Yale.

 

My business education provided me with training in leadership and communication, which I have found essential in an increasingly team-oriented healthcare environment. These skills are applied daily when collaborating to care for patients in the hospital, or answer difficult questions in the laboratory. More tangibly, LSM’s unique interdisciplinary coursework provided me with an understanding of how to develop early-stage medical therapies to address unmet needs in the life sciences. I will surely apply this knowledge in the future. Finally, during medical school, I observed firsthand that some of the most pressing issues facing patients are related to issues of cost, access and quality of healthcare, and not just limitations of our understanding of disease. Physicians who understand business principles are better positioned to navigate these challenges and advocate for their patients, and potentially even improve the healthcare system itself.

What aspects of the LSM program do you feel were most critical?

I found mentorship from the LSM advisory board to be critical. This includes Dr. Vagelos, who continues to be an inspiration to me. The same applies to the program leadership. LSM’s small size and dedicated advising makes it unique. I found that those leading the program are attuned to each student’s personal goals and development. They will provide you with the guidance and resources to make your dreams a reality, assuming that you are also motivated and self-directed. Looking back, that commitment to the individual really defined my undergraduate experience. I’d advise all current and future students to make the most of this opportunity.

What do you think you'll be doing 5 years from now?

In five years, I will likely be in some form of continued medical training, either residency or fellowship. Though my interests continue to evolve, I am more seriously considering a career as a physician scientist in an academic setting, if I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity. This is a more recent goal that developed during medical school, where I became motivated by the lack of modern treatment options available to patients with certain serious illnesses, especially in cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. I’m confident that I will integrate management in my career regardless of the ultimate destination. For now, I am focused on my medical training and becoming the best doctor that I am capable of, while also enjoying the journey getting there.