Stritch School of Medicine

William Flavin

Hometown: Downers Grove, Illinois
Major: Doctor of Medicine
Expected Graduation: 2019

William is a fourth-year medical student in the MD/PhD program and completed his PhD in Cell Biology, Neurobiology, and Anatomy in 2017. His academic achievements include numerous publications, presentations, and abstracts. In addition, he has participated in the Physician’s Vocation Program and served as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion with the Pastoral Care department at Loyola University Medical Center.

William has been involved in Campus Ministry events; has served as a peer tutor for the Academic Center for Excellence; taught gross anatomy and neuroanatomy courses; served on several Stritch admissions committees; mentored with Students Advising Students; and served as co-chair of Stritch’s Independent Student Analysis Committee. He was treasurer of the Christian Medical and Dental Association and vice president of the American Physician Scientist Association.

William graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 2011 with a bachelor’s in biochemistry. He was a walk-on member of the Fighting Irish football team and was the starting long snapper during his senior year.

Here, William talks about why he chose neurology, his philosophy of healing both body and spirit, and how Loyola has trained him to always incorporate the patient’s perspective into treatment plans.

What was the most meaningful volunteer, service, or student organization activity you’ve been involved in? How has it influenced you or shaped you as a person?

Participating in scientific research has given me the curiosity needed to advance the understanding of medicine’s unanswered questions and the desire to improve human health through my work. My research first sparked my interest in neuroscience and led to my choice of neurology for clinical training. Teaching anatomy and mentoring colleagues in my research group fostered my interest in academic medicine, with the hope that I can continue to train and mentor others and pass along my passion for science. I’m grateful for the example of numerous teachers and mentors who are role models for productivity and collaboration in research.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from your Jesuit education?

I am thankful for my Jesuit medical training that focuses on patient-centered medicine above all else. Through the Physician’s Vocation Program, I have grown to view my research and patient care as a calling, as service to those in need, and as a way for me to feel God’s guiding presence in my day-to-day work. Physicians have the incredible privilege of encountering patients often at their most vulnerable, and I have learned that simply listening to their stories can provide an incredible amount of healing. Empowering and educating patients gives me great fulfillment, and I will do my best to foster this philosophy of healing body and spirit wherever my journey takes me.

What do you hope to achieve after college, and how has Loyola prepared you?

I hope to join a clinical residency training program in neurology at an academic institution with a focus on research so that I can continue my medical and scientific training. My goal is for my research to complement my clinical work, so that I can effectively bridge the gap between scientific exploration and patient care to bring forward advances that address an unmet clinical need. Loyola has prepared me by imparting an interdisciplinary, collaborative, and passionate approach to this endeavor, training me to always incorporate the patient’s perspective of their illness into a holistic treatment plan.


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William Flavin

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