‘To the Level of My Peers’

Michael Welch was a professional musician and dancer until his mid-20s.

“Then I had a pretty gnarly, high-speed biking accident that put me in a wheelchair,” says Welch, who spent two months in a hospital recovering from his injuries.

“I was inspired by the medicine that was happening around me, so I chose to go into medicine,” he says.

And Welch applied to Rush Medical College.

“During the interview process and the application process, I really didn’t bring up my disability, and neither did anybody that was interviewing me,” says Welch, now a student at Rush. “It was great to have that level of respect for my independence.”

After he arrived on campus, Rush helped him get a standing wheelchair that enabled him to participate in cadaver dissection.

“They helped me get the funding for it, and to acquire it,” he says, “and elevated me, quite literally, to the level of my peers to make the curriculum entirely accessible to me.”

 

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