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Meet Steven Leary

Date: Friday, May 6, 2022

Steven Leary

Hometown: Trabuco Canyon, CA 

Degrees and distinctions: MD, Teaching Distinction Track, Health Care Delivery Science, Management, and Policy Distinction Track 

Matched: Orthopedic Surgery, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics 

How did you choose this career path? 

Growing up with a younger brother who has special needs, I knew I wanted to help people overcome obstacles. As I went through medical school, this developed into a passion for protecting quality of life. I love the opportunity to work with my hands and help people get back to doing what makes them happy. 

What experiences outside the curriculum greatly enhanced your education? 

Completing the Teaching Distinction Track was a great way to further develop my passion for teaching and gain real-life experience navigating different settings in a teaching role. 

Who was especially helpful in guiding or mentoring you? 

I wouldn’t be here without Drs. Robert Westermann and Michael Willey (shout out @HawkeyeHipDocs). They stuck by me when I didn’t match last year, took me on as a research fellow, and became huge advocates and even better role models. 

What was the most rewarding part of your Carver College of Medicine experience? 

Talking to the younger students I tutored and learning they passed the course we were working on or reached their goal on the United States Medical Licensing Examination. Feeling like I played even a small role in their success was pretty humbling. 

Share one memory that sticks out from your time as a student in the Carver College of Medicine. 

Opening that letter with my wife on Match Day this year. It’s hard to describe the relief of knowing I’ll be an orthopedic surgeon and the satisfaction of all our hard work paying off after such a huge setback the year before. 

What advice would you give to an incoming student? 

This is a long road—don’t sweat the small things, embrace and learn from setbacks, and above all, take time to enjoy it. There are many routes to get where you want to be.