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Family Medicine: Inspired by His Father (Brother Harding G. Young -- Fall 1978), A Son Forges His Ow

“Medicine chooses you. You don’t really choose it.” Harding Young, M.D. ’86 (above right in photo), once dispensed this advice to his son Matthew.“ Just as a reverend or a preacher or a priest is called to the cloth, we’re giving ourselves to something greater than ourselves,” Dr. Young, 60, told his younger son. “I told him to listen to himself and his own heart.” So, when the day came that Matthew announced that he wanted to become a physician, the news came as no surprise to his father.

Of Dr. Young’s children, all successful in their own right, Matthew showed the most interest in the medical profession. “As they were all growing up, we would have to make a stop in on Saturday at the hospital to make some quick rounds before heading to lunch or dinner whatever the occasion was,” recalled the family medicine practitioner, who is originally from Atlanta and lives and works in the Los Angeles area. “Matthew was the only one who would take me up on going in with me. As time moved on, I could see he actually enjoyed watching what I was doing, as well as hanging out with me.”

Father and son both graduated from Morehouse College. When it came time to apply to medical school, Matthew petitioned a number of schools including, Loyola Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Howard University School of Medicine, Meharry School of Medicine, and Duke University School of Medicine. But, just like the medical field itself, Morehouse School of Medicine spoke to his heart. “Every physician I knew growing up served as my role models, and they were all Morehouse School of Medicine physicians,” Matthew said, adding that Dr. Young, as well as his friends in MSM’s class of 2022, have served the underserved and “have been active advancers of health equity in their fields.”

“Going to Morehouse College, my interactions with MSM faculty and students were very sparse, but I could still feel their message in action from the events I attended,” Matthew continued. “It was not until interview day when I truly felt at home. I could truly see myself walking through the halls and growing there. In addition, by being a Morehouse alum, I hope to continually stay active in serving as a mentor or helping-hand for anyone that is interested in pursuing medicine.”

The Young men can attest to MSM’s network of encouragement and friendship, even in the midst of intense study.“ Medical school by nature is actually a competitive place,” said Dr. Young. “There are other institutions he could have gone to that may not have had the nurturing support. That’s the way I was treated when I was there. I told him to look for the best opportunity for a diverse situation. He has always been in a very diverse group, whether it be elementary school or high school.”

His father’s advice about medical school has been spot-on. “They are probably the most supportive group of people you can meet,” Matthew, 22, said. “I don’t think there’s any one of my classmates I haven’t been able to talk to and have similar goals with.” With his first semester behind him, Matthew said he has learned a lot about himself. “I guess I would have to say that I can tackle anything I put my mind too, for sure,” he said. “Getting here was the first obstacle. Once you’re here, there are more obstacles to take care of. Everything’s hard at first, but once you put things in your own language you can do anything.”

Matthew had considered other career paths before listening to his heart. “I actually wanted to be a veterinarian for the longest time,” he said. “We had a dog and a few fish and I just loved animals. I watched Animal Planet – ‘The Crocodile Hunter,’ you name it. It went from there to [wanting to be] a sports commentator.”