Dayne Voelker

Dayne Voelker Wants to Serve His Hometown

Six-Year B.A./M.D. Program | School of Medicine
Graduation Year: 2017

Where is UMKC taking you?

UMKC is taking me to medical school, and then back to Perryville, Mo., to serve my hometown as a doctor. I basically was able to attend college through the generosity of my town. Without the many scholarships that local businesses awarded me, I wouldn’t have had the funds to attend college. I want to give back to the community that has already given me so much. I’d like to be a radiologist or primary-care physician.

Tell us about the three pins on your coat.

The red dress is for women’s heart awareness. The cow pin reminds me every day of the dairy farm where I grew up. The third gold pin symbolizes the importance of humanism in medicine.

Why did you choose UMKC?

I was excited about the clinical experience that the medical school offers. You are in the hospital and seeing patients from Day 1.

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

I have learned that I can put my farming roots aside and really enjoy what a city has to offer. Big cities were never my thing. I would have never thought that I would enjoy Kansas City and call it my second home.

How has college inspired you?

After meeting so many great people at college, I realized I should try and meet a new person every day. There are so many people out there in the world, and each person is different.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?

Always try your best, and when that isn’t enough, just keep on trying. When I first came to college, I thought I was the smartest human being alive and could do the minimum to succeed. That was one of the dumbest thoughts of my life. When a professor told me to always try my best, it really woke me up and reminded me to be a hard worker.

Who do you admire most at UMKC?

I most admire Dr. Gary Salzman. He is my docent in the medical school, and in the two years that I have worked with him so far he has taught me more than I could ever imagine. Not only has he taught me about medicine but he has taught me personal life lessons as well. He always pushes and challenges me to become a better doctor than he is. I think the high expectations he has of me, and all of his students, really drives each one of us to reach our full potential.

What’s your greatest fear?

Losing my loved ones is my greatest fear. Growing up, I was very close to my grandparents. With my parents being very busy, my grandparents basically raised me. My grandparents taught me so much while growing up and they were always there for me when I needed them. When I was in high school, three of my grandparents died within a two-year span of each other. That was a very difficult time for me in my life because it seemed like when I was starting to cope with a loss of one of my grandparents another one was taken from me.

What is one word that best describes you?

Happy. If you ask anyone who is close to me, they will tell you I am always smiling and trying to incorporate laughter in my daily routine. I am a blessed man to be in medical school and to have great friends and a supportive family. What else do I need? Nothing, and that is why I am a very happy man.