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A sterling physician: COSAM alumnus is resident at Johns Hopkins

Published: 04/19/2018

By: Jarrett Rogers

As an internal medicine resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Cole Sterling’s job is to manage and evaluate patients who are sick enough to warrant a hospital stay. He also tracks patients who need regular care at his outpatient clinic. The nature of his work demands a strong ability to diagnose and solve problems, as well as people skills.

Sterling, who also attended medical school at Johns Hopkins, said he is humbled by the successes in his career thus far.

“Honestly, I feel more blessed than proud,” said Sterling. “It is an enormous honor and privilege caring for individuals who trust us with their lives and fears. While this aspect of my job remains extremely rewarding, connecting patients to desperately needed social resources and finding ways to keep them engaged in their own care can be challenging."

Sterling received a bachelor of science from Auburn and said he was drawn to the university because of its diverse student body and college sports.

“My time at Auburn constantly reinforced the importance of remaining balanced—namely, pursuing my professional dreams while maintaining my identity as an individual,” he said.

While at Auburn, he participated in a number of extracurricular student activities, including COSAM Leaders, the Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, and Sigma Chi Fraternity. 

Regarding COSAM, Sterling praised the faculty and academic programs.

“COSAM’s greatest strength is undoubtedly its individuals and their commitment to students—people like Larry Wit (associate dean and professor emeritus) and Beverly Childress (director of pre-health professions), and many others who are not only extremely talented but also truly care about student success and well-being,” said Sterling.

Additionally, Sterling cites his biomedical sciences courses, particularly Mammalian Physiology and Vertebrate Development, as highly impactful in terms of preparing him for the environment and expectations of medical school.

For current students, Sterling advocates making the most of college years.

“Work hard,” he said. “Find what matters to you, who you are, where you want to be, and how you want to get there. You will likely never again have the same degree of freedom or potential that you have now. It’s tough to find the right balance, but that’s what makes these years so much fun!"

Sterling graduated with a bachelor of science in biomedical sciences in 2012. A native of Huntsville, in his spare time, he enjoys writing, playing the piano, snow skiing, scuba diving, smoking meats, cooking with his wife, and spending time with their Great Pyrenees, Emma.​

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