First-year FAU Medical Student Wants to Make a Real Impact
Benjamin R. Childs is not a typical first-year medical student. Before coming to FAU, he was in real estate finance, taught at a public school in Harlem, and volunteered as an EMT for Central Park Medical Unit.
Benjamin R. Childs is not your typical first-year medical student. He’s already co-authored his third journal article, most recently in the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma titled “Obesity and Longer Hospital Stays Following Orthopedic Trauma.” Before entering medical school at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, Childs was a real estate finance associate for Mass Mutual in New York, taught algebra at a public school in Harlem, and volunteered as an EMT for a couple years for the Central Park Medical Unit, also in New York.
Childs, 31, who has had a job since he was 13, grew up in Palm Beach Gardens and received his undergraduate degree in real estate finance from Florida State University. After graduating from college, he moved to New York to work in real estate finance and was later promoted into a sales position. Shortly thereafter, he decided to leave that job and briefly worked for the Princeton Review.
“I didn’t really feel like any of these jobs were my true calling and money and bonuses didn’t motivate me,” said Childs. “They just didn’t do it for me.”
He decided to take his talents and follow a different calling by teaching algebra at the Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts, a public school in Harlem. After two years, he took a job teaching at a private school in New York and although he found his work as a teacher to be extremely gratifying, it still wasn’t where he was meant to be in the long run.
“I always wanted to study science, but chickened out the first time around,” said Childs. “I decided to apply to Columbia University, got accepted, and studied math and physics while I continued working. I even pursued physics research while I studied at Columbia.”
In addition to working, studying, and the pursuit of research in physics, Childs managed to find time participating in athletics and eventually became president of the Columbia Triathlon Club.
But, the real turning point in Child’s career happened one summer when he got a job doing research with an orthopedic surgeon in Cleveland. She encouraged him to come with her into the operating room. He was smitten as he watched her and three teams of trauma surgeons work for five hours on a victim of a motorcycle accident who was very badly injured.
“I was in awe as I watched the patient leave the hospital on crutches just one week after his motorcycle accident,” said Childs, who went back to Columbia University to get his degree in biology and apply to medical school.
Childs is in the U.S. Army now enrolled in the Health Professions Scholarship Program where he will complete his military residency after he graduates from FAU with his medical degree in 2019, and will then spend four years as a military attending physician.
“I want to be a doctor just like the doctor I shadowed during my summers in undergraduate school. I want heal, teach, research and be a mentor,” said Childs. “I finally feel like I can make an impact on society helping people – that’s the great part about teaching and medicine.”