Mitchell Carlson

Mitchell decides on pediatric medicine

Mitchell is not the first of his family to attend Iowa State. His grandfather, parents, and brother all attended. Because of this, Mitchell didn’t think he wanted to come, but after researching other universities, he decided nothing compared to the opportunities Iowa State had to offer.

Mitchell’s love for the medical field began like his love for Iowa State, with his father, a veterinarian. Mitchell said he watched his dad perform multiple surgeries on animals, and it sparked his interest in medicine, although he doesn’t want to work with animals.

“I love getting to know people and serving them,” he said. “This is a way I can do that. Plus, people don’t bite as often.”

Knowing this, he started in the kinesiology program at Iowa State.

“I like studying how exercise affects the body,” he said. “It’s cool how one thing can impact so much.”

Like many college students, Mitchell started feeling overwhelmed with the course load and busy schedule. He started having doubts about his abilities so he started job shadowing professionals in the field. Seeing them, helped him realize his own potential.

“It was overwhelming as a freshman to think I still had seven-and-a-half more years left, he said. “It helped to see a doctor who went through all eight years and that I could do it. It was like seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Mitchell continued job shadowing different doctors to try and find which area of medicine he wanted to pursue. After seeing each individual work, Mitchell knew he’d never succeed if he weren’t passionate about his job. So he took some time to think about what he truly enjoys and decided on a career as a pediatric doctor and changed majors to nutritional science.

“I want to find an area of medicine I love doing and can do every day,” he said. “I love working with kids, they are still learning and open to what you say. Also, it’s more challenging since it’s like solving a puzzle to try and figure out what’s wrong.”