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A Doctor in the House

December 15, 2014
What a difference a year makes.  Petar Golijanin (Biochemistry, ’13) has been accepted to Dartmouth Medical School, and will start his studies in the fall of 2015.  Since graduating from Merrimack, he had been working as a research assistant at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in the department of Sports Orthopaedic Surgery which enabled him to hone his skills, make connections, and impress his supervisors. While working, Golijanin was tirelessly studying for the MCATs for several months.

“Petar is without a doubt a very bright, capable student and overall a fantastic person,” says Dr. Charlotte Berkes, Assistant Professor of Biology and Health Professions Advisor, “I believe his success is due in part to the fact that he has been mentored by Dr. Matthew Provencher at MGH, Chief of Sports Medicine at MGH and Medical Director and Team Physician of the New England Patriots.”  Dr. Berkes hopes other Merrimack students will follow the path that Golijanin is blazing with MGH to achieve success.

In just one year, Golijanin was a contributor and co-author of six peer reviewed publications and seven book chapters, with topics ranging from shoulder instability and biceps tenodesis, to knee pain

Originally from Serbia, Petar was a young European tennis star, named to the Serbian national team twice and was in the Top 35 in Europe’s Under 16 age group. At the age of 19 he left his home and came to the US to gain education. At Merrimack he went on to earn accolades as First Team All-Conference in singles and doubles, and a recipient of the Northeast-10 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award for two consecutive seasons and several other awards.  

As an accomplished athlete, Golijanin is no stranger to orthopaedics and sports injuries. He often saw his teammates facing injuries, which he says, “only gave me more drive to help others in the future.”

“It’s important to be involved as much as possible - including a commitment to the community, which further develops and demonstrates your desire to help others,” he advises to other Merrimack students preparing for medical school, “Study hard- not only for a good grade, but for lasting knowledge. It will benefit you in the long run. Take diverse classes so you have a well-rounded education.  Use your resources - ask professors questions and utilize the Math Center.”

Golijanin humbly attributes much of his success along this journey to faculty and staff at Merrimack College, “There were a lot of people who impacted my persistence to achieve my goals and helped guide me through major decisions and preparation along the way: the whole Chemistry Department, the Math Center where I worked, my coaches and the International Office.”

Golijanin is anxiously awaiting for this new chapter of his life to begin.

“Dartmouth was my number one choice, so being able to achieve this dream is great,” he says, “I’ve talked to students there now and they’ve assured me that we will all get through it.  I’m looking forward to new opportunities, to be surrounded by great mentors and learning the most I can about medicine – and about life in general.”  

Sounds like he’s learned a lot already, and well on his way to being a lifelong learner and successful Merrimack alum!

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  • Golijanin with mentor Dr. Matthew Provencher.
    Golijanin with mentor Dr. Matthew Provencher.

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