By Wendy Sarubbi | September 6, 2016 12:01 pm

Intelligence analyst, engineer, Army veteran are just some of the titles Eric Wilson has held, but the one that he most cherishes is medical student. After years of bouncing around from one job to another, Wilson at the age of 40 finally found his calling, and his unconventional journey to medical school is told in WESH TV’s “Surviving and Thriving” broadcast produced by Growing Bolder Media.

Wilson was one of 120 new medical students to enter into UCF College of Medicine’s class of 2020 in August. He credits his time in the Army for giving him the focus to realize what he wanted to do with his life. “The Army doesn’t give you any flexibility, boot camp probably breaks that down in you,… you’re going to do as you’re told and develop some skills,” he said. When he volunteered for the role of an Army chaplain’s assistant, Wilson said he learned to listen and empathize. Whether it was helping soldiers deal with family issues or combat trauma, he realized he could have an impact, and believes medicine is a lot about listening and understanding.

It took him seven years to get his life in order after leaving the Army to be able to contemplate medical school. The one-time college dropout admits, “I was my biggest problem, growing into a good human being.”

The married father of two young children juggles family life with a hectic schedule of classes and studying. Older and wiser, Wilson says he’s already found friends among some of the other medical students with children and said he also has the life experience to guide his younger colleagues. He says he no longer feels like the “malfunctioning cog in the wheel.”



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