Open book . . . Daryl Blaney, SOM ’14

On Wednesday, the Daily Voice introduces you to a student or resident at UMass Medical School. We’ve asked our subjects to answer a few questions that might reveal a little of their personalities. If you know someone who you’d like to see profiled, let us know at


Daryl Blaney, SOM ’14, from Baldwinville, Mass., is a member of Kelley House. He received his undergraduate degree from Fitchburg State College.

Why did you choose UMass Medical School?

I was treated here for acute lymphocytic leukemia. So when it came time to apply to schools, there was really only one choice for me. It was awe inspiring to get a lecture from my pediatric oncologist and I love seeing my old nurse from time to time. (Hi, Helen.)

Describe yourself in six words or fewer.

Awesome, sarcastic, slacker.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, name three things you would want.

How about a ride home? Aside from that, some rope, a knife and a pot. (I’ve watched way too much Dual Survivor.)

If you could have dinner with a famous person, living or dead, who would that be and why?

Jim Morrison of The Doors. I feel like he and I would likely have the same odd eating schedules, with “dinner” being our actual first meal. We could ironically sing “Road House Blues” together while we complain about the sad state of popular music, among other things.

What person or experience made you decide to pursue a medical degree and why?

Well if my reasons for “Why UMass?” didn’t explain this . . . I credit two people. The first being Dr. Newburger for that whole “helping me beat cancer” thing. The second is my sister who, despite my best efforts, is never impressed with me, so I keep working for her approval. It’s a nice system we have.

What is the most interesting or challenging job (paid or unpaid) you’ve ever had and what did you learn about yourself?

Previously, I was a software engineer; the work wasn’t bad, but the office culture was horrid. Sitting behind a desk for eight to 10 hours a day, five days a week, was mind numbing. I learned that I like being around people enough to not want to do that for the rest of my life.

What would your fellow students be surprised to learn about you?

I loved Weather Mode. Truth.

If UMass Medical School had not been an option, what would you be doing right now?

Probably QA testing a really fun video game or writing code to handle the back-end of secure credential manufacturing. In other words, resume building.

If you could change the world as a physician, what would you like to do?

As a physician, draw more attention to the importance of proper nutrition; not only how it relates to quelling obesity, but also to draw attention to those who go without. I’d also like to encourage governments to stop trying to control the Internet, but I’m not sure why being a physician would aid in that.

Most surprising thing you’ve found out about graduate school?

It’s just like undergrad, which was just like high school. When we got here we were told that we wouldn’t be able to handle this like it was undergrad. That wasn’t true, at all.

Most surprising thing you’ve discovered about Worcester?

It’s the Paris of the new millennium. Not sure anything about Worcester could surprise me more than that.