4x4: John Koch '11

Wed, 10/20/2010 (All day)
John Koch

John Koch ’11

O’Fallon, Mo.

Biology/Pre-Health Major

Theology and Chemistry Minor

John Koch has a hard time saying “no,” but maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

“I keep getting involved in more and more activities,” he says. “I have found, though, that I work and perform best when I am busy, so I guess there is a positive side to it.”

Koch says his junior year was not as academically challenging as sophomore year, but he maintained a packed schedule with his involvement in the American Medical Student Association, SHAPe (Spring Hill Awakening Program), Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit honor society, and the service-immersion trip to Belize.

That’s not to say Koch had a light academic load. As he prepares for medical school at Saint Louis University, he spends his days absorbing material from textbooks, class lectures and science labs. Dr. Michael Ferry’s bioethics course, for example,  covered issues ranging from abortion, research ethics, and physician-patient relationships.

“It really made me look at many of the issues I will face when I become a physician,” he says of Ferry’s class. “I realized that even though I had my opinions, I was forced to back them up not only to the class but also to myself.”

The summer after freshman year, Koch shadowed his family doctor in Missouri. He returned to the doctor’s office over the summer and worked as a medical receptionist and assistant. “I was able to learn a lot more of the clinical aspect of medicine this summer and shadow my doctor to see what the life of a physician is like,” Koch says. “He has really shown great interest in my studies to become a physician and has helped me immensely by allowing me to learn all the different aspects of running a private practice.”

In February, Koch traveled to Belize City, where he and fellow students built a house for a family in need. “The immersion trip to Belize will be one of the best memories I take away from SHC,” he says. “I made many new friendships with the students who went on the trip, and I am hoping to go on another trip this year. It really showed me the effect that I can have on someone when I give of my time.”

Koch, whose younger brother Steven is a member of the freshman cohort, says he plans to get as much as he can out of his senior year and leave Spring Hill with many more great memories.

“Overall, my Spring Hill experience has been amazing,” he says. “I have had so much fun, made so many great friends, and learned so many new things that I do not think I could have made a better decision than to come here. I feel that Spring Hill has prepared me both academically and personally to succeed far beyond my time here.”