Josh Diltz chose to attend UT Martin after being recruited to run cross-country, but the reason he has continued with UT Martin is because of his biology and chemistry majors.
“I want to ultimately go to med school and beyond that become a pediatric physician,” Diltz said of his career goals.
Hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Diltz discovered UT Martin online. He said, “So, actually I was originally recruited by the cross-country coach here, Coach Sanders, through this online website called NCSA (National Collegiate Scouting Association Athletic Recruiting). I came and visited UT Martin and it was the first and only campus that I visited and accepted his offer.”
Diltz has adjusted to life in Tennessee and has developed an appreciation for the geography of his college home. He said, “I like it. It’s been a really good contrast to my first 18 years, and coming here for college has definitely been a good choice, and something I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.”
Beyond the Tennessee landscape and being thousands of miles from home, Diltz appreciates the opportunities he’s discovered at UT Martin. He said, “The number one contributing factor to me staying here has probably been my major and the fact that I’ve gotten to make connections with a lot of my professors and a lot of the students within my program, pre-med. It’s been a really good experience with biology and chemistry, those departments.”
Not only has Diltz invested his time in his major, but he has also joined the UT Martin Pre-Med Scholars. Diltz says that the program has offered him great opportunity to grow and better understand the profession in which he is pursuing. He said, “Pre-med scholars, I think, is going to be a good opportunity not only for myself but the other members pre-med scholars to get shadowing hours in to see if its something they really want to pursue – being a doctor or anything really in the medical field because it’s a huge time commitment. Not only that but you get MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) preparation.”
Diltz was excited to find that he would gain experiential learning opportunities in the pre-med scholars program, but the program is also designed to prepare students as they begin applying to medical school. Diltz said, “Beyond the shadowing aspect, you get test preparation that is going to help towards the potential of getting into medical school. So, I think those are the two major components of the program that are going to be most beneficial to us and that are going to be invaluable toward applying to med school.”
While Diltz loves his program of study, he is still a dedicated runner and practices with the cross-country team. Unfortunately for this avid runner, Diltz’s cross-country career was compromised following a leg injury. He explains, “I’ve been battling what’s called ITBS (illiotibial band syndrome). It’s an injury of a ligament in your leg, in your upper leg. Ultimately, that set me out last year. So, I had to red shirt. This year, I’ve yet to be able to compete. But my mileage is up, and I’m optimistic.”
“It’s been kind of interesting to see how the thing that brought me here is not necessarily what’s allowed me to thrive at UTM. But I think in future years, I’ll be able to compete,” Diltz said.
Diltz’s optimism for his future as a runner and his dedication to his dream of becoming a doctor will take him far as he continues in his education.
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