When I recently saw that my underclassman, Taylor Brana, graduated from medical school, he was ecstatic, jubilant and quick to mention how important being a member of the Temple University Men's Gymnastics team was for his current successes. What a monumental occasion and perfect time for reflection! So what does being a part of a men's collegiate gymnastics team have to do with graduating medical school? Let's find out. Here are Dr. Taylor Brana's thoughts and reflections:
"When I think of my path to becoming a doctor and withstanding the difficulties of medical school, one of the major positive influences is Temple University Mens Gymnastics (TUMG).
For me TUMG meant a great deal. It wasn’t just a place to train, it wasn’t just a group of guys working out at the same time, it wasn’t just medals, or glory, or whatever one associates with a team, this was a family. And you see as a family, I can always come back to it for support.
Prior to entering college my immediate family moved to Israel while I transitioned from living from the west coast in California to Philadelphia. This was a huge transition for me and it was extremely difficult. To be 100% honest, I went through a period of depression and anxiety due to such a major change, but, a new family was emerging.
When I arrived at Temple University I became a part of the “T” “U” “G” family and made friendships with around fifty members (including the guys and girls teams). When my family moved to Israel, I thought I didn’t have a family, the truth is I made an even bigger one.
Our gymnastics family is still strong, in fact I met with members of our team just three days ago (at the time of writing this) to celebrate Patrick McLaughlin’s birthday. Our connections run deeply. We don’t have to talk for long periods of time, and we can all reconnect right where we started. This deep support is special and invaluable.
Aside from the social aspects of being part of the team, being a collegiate athlete provided the necessary structure and work ethic I needed to get through medical school. I’ll say this quite honestly, I don’t think I’m the smartest individual in medical school. However, even more importantly, I think I can outwork almost any student, why is that?
After balancing morning workouts, with classes, evening training, and social life, I learned all of the necessary skills needed to be an effective and balanced student. I learned how to work as part of a team, I learned how to work hard, I learned how to study efficiently, I learned how to relax even in times of stress, I learned how to be a leader, a follower, and a friend. I’m not saying this experience made me perfect, but I am saying that if it weren’t for TUMG I don’t think I would have been able to become a doctor.
Being a part of this team gave me the necessary skills and support I have needed to make it through the difficult marathon of medical study and now I am officially a physician. I have only love for Temple University Mens Gymnastics and whatever I can do to support this family, I will.
Who we be?! TUG."
Dr. Brana has his own website and blog which aims at providing inspiration, knowledge, and tools to enhance creativity, joy, and success in the field of healthcare. Check out http://www.thehappydoc.com/.
Taylor Brana, D.O.
2010 ECAC Parallel Bar Champion
2012-2013 ECAC Champions
2013 Temple University Men’s Gymnastics Co-Captain