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Christian Keenan

Christian Keenan

T.H. Chan School of Medicine, Class of 2024

“Because of UMass Chan, I've been able to create the career and life I always dreamed of. Words cannot begin to explain how grateful I am to be here.”

Medical student Christian Keenan, MS, chose to become a physician after initially pursuing engineering. Keenan, who hails from Voorheesville, New York, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Rochester. He discovered a love for patient care during clinical exposure through his master’s program. Family members were also an inspiration.

“I saw people who meant the world to me suffer, and I saw how doctors helped mitigate that suffering and emotional stress for their patients and the rest of my family,” Keenan said.

Keenan’s decision to enroll in the T.H. Chan School of Medicine at UMass Chan Medical School was solidified during his first campus visit.

“I was looking as lost as can be. A parking attendant explained how to get to my interview location, but he recognized that I was still confused and drew me a map,” Keenan recalled. “During my interview, I was struggling to get my words together, and the interviewer kindly said, ‘Take a 5-second break and take a breath because you’re doing better than you think you’re doing.’ After I answered the prompt, he invited me to chit-chat to get my nerves out. During my drive back to New York, I called my mom panicking that I’d never get in because I couldn’t even find the place and needed somebody to draw me a map. I was accepted two weeks later and shrieked—something I didn’t know I could do at the time.”

Keenan values UMass Chan’s dedication to community partnerships.

“I wanted a place where I’d have a wonderful community of colleagues and amazing mentorship, and where I’d learn about helping patients,” he said. “UMass Chan has an unyielding connection to the community of Worcester and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and it seems like everybody here does something for the community. The T.H. Chan School of Medicine emphasizes humanism for the patient, provider and everybody in the community, which instantly had me hooked.”

Keenan feels confident and prepared to enter the next stage in his career, residency at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital, where he’ll specialize in emergency medicine.

“I started here barely able to make a decision about what I was going to eat for dinner, let alone handle somebody else’s well-being,” said Keenan. “Because of UMass Chan, I’ve been able to create the career and life I always dreamed of. Words cannot begin to explain how grateful I am to be here.”