Business Major Follows Dream of Becoming a Doctor in South Carolina
For as long as he can remember, Todd Crump wanted to be a doctor. He spent nights dreaming about helping others. But Todd did a fine job of convincing himself that it wasn’t possible. “My parents didn’t go to college,” he said. “We were poor. I thought to become a doctor you had to have lots money or parents who were physicians.”
The strategy worked. And when the Florida native did go to college, he majored in business and then began a career in student affairs, assisting college-bound students through the maze of financial aid and scholarship applications. Todd came to the University of South Carolina, where he earned a master’s degree in higher education administration/student personnel services. Every day he told students that no dream was out of reach as long as they had the desire to accomplish it. “But I still had a nagging desire to be a doctor. So I took my own advice. I told myself, ‘if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it.’”
USC School of Medicine is a leader among U.S. medical schools in percentage of graduates who practice primary care.
Todd followed his dream. But before he could even start, he needed to complete two years of prerequisite courses in order to apply to medical school. So he hunkered down and took biology, chemistry and other science classes. He earned a 4.0 GPA and then applied to the USC School of Medicine.
Today, Todd is an ER physician at Lexington Medical Center and the medical director at the Medical Free Clinic in Columbia. Todd sees people when they’re most vulnerable: sick, worried and running out of options. In most cases, he has only a few seconds to establish a trusting bond and to let his patients know he will do all he can to help them. “I have about 20 seconds to develop a rapport: to let them know that I care, that I’m not judging them and that I’m there to help,” he said.
It’s times like these when he relies on his USC medical training. “I really do think my training prepared me for the work I do today,” he said. “The faculty is incredible. I learned more than the science of medicine. I was taught the art of healing, how a smile and a kind word can help more than an X-ray or a lab result.”