Two of our graduating seniors are being honored as 2022 FIU Real Triumphs Graduates. Every year, the university chooses outstanding students from each college who have accomplished extraordinary things during their time at the university and are “shining examples of what makes FIU students so special.”
This year’s Real Triumphs Grads from the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine are Thomas Newlin and Chase Mallory. We wish them success as they continue their medical journey.
Thomas’ grandfather was a Navy urologist. Thomas followed his grandfather’s footsteps in the military and medical school. After graduation, Thomas, a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army, is off to Hawaii to start training as a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist.
COVID-19 had a significant impact on the Class of 2022’s educational journey. Most notably, Thomas and fellow medical students could not participate in clinical rotations. These essential hands-on experiences lay the foundation for future physicians. But Thomas and his classmates persevered and even helped others deal with the pandemic.
When Covid-19 forced local schools into remote learning, Thomas and some of his classmates at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine saw an opportunity to help. They created HOPE, Helping Out Public Education, a virtual tutoring service in collaboration with Miami Dade County Public Schools. HOPE recruited 75 medical students to tutor public high school students in subjects from algebra to piano. FIU Engagement honored Newlin as a frontline hero for his work on the tutoring project, which continues to this day.
After his internship year at Honolulu’s Tripler Medical Center, Thomas will continue his residency training at Walter Reed National Medical Center, the world’s largest joint military medical system. Walter Reed provides care for military members and their families, the president, vice president, members of Congress, and Supreme Court justices.
Chase recounts an important lesson he learned in medical school— what the physician thinks is important may not be the patient’s top priority. While doctors are often eager to teach, the art of listening is just as important to provide holistic and compassionate care.
When Covid-19 locked down South Florida, Chase understood that for many people, the virus was not their only concern. As community director of the FIU Rotaract Chapter, he helped organize a student drive that raised funds to help underserved families with food insecurity. He spearheaded the Miami Homeless Telehealth Initiative, which provided regular calls to homeless individuals temporarily quarantined to assess their health needs.
Chase excelled academically and as a leader of his student cohort. He received four academic scholarships, published 13 research articles, presented his work at conferences nationally and internationally, and was inducted into the AOA Medical Honor Society. He also served as vice president of his class, led the Health Policy and Advocacy Committee of the Florida Medical Association, and co-founded the Urology Interest Group.
Urology is one of the most competitive specialties in medicine. Chase however landed a coveted urology residency at the University of Florida, his undergrad alma mater. He is excited to return to the swamp with his girlfriend and fellow classmate Samantha Rodriguez, who will also train there, in pediatrics.