Devin Bhatia '13

I started at Franklin Road Academy in the fourth grade after moving to Nashville from New Orleans. Not only was it a great experience for me, but I became stronger academically and as a person.

FRA does an excellent job in college counseling. My college counselors were phenomenal and helped me identify a combined BA/MD six-year program at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. While I attended UMKC, I had the opportunity to work in the emergency room at Truman Medical Center, which provides care for the underserved population in Kansas City. It really humbled me.

My experiences at FRA helped prepare me for work in emergency medicine. Interpersonal skills are crucial in my daily life with patient care, and I use the tools that FRA taught me from the beginning. The most important life skills I learned were what to focus on, what not to focus on, how to keep yourself healthy, how to enjoy what you’re learning, and how to enjoy life outside of the classroom.

FRA was also influential in teaching the interpersonal skill of listening. I spent a lot of time with Coach Tucker, Coach Price, and Coach McDonald. As coaches, they listened to their players’ input and what was driving us. Listening well allows us to go beyond the surface, and get to know people at their heart and who they are.

I am now living and working in Dallas, Texas, at ParklandHospital and UT-Southwestern Medical Center, which is one of the largest county hospitals in the country, serving essentially all of North Texas, South Oklahoma, and Louisiana.

People go to the ER for something they believe to be life-threatening or critical, so it’s our job to comfort them. Helping people everyday is what I want to do for as long as my body allows me to, and doing that through medicine is awesome.

I’m currently in an emergency medicine residency, so I’ll be working in that department for the rest of my life. COVID-19 hasn’t deterred me at all. In fact, the rise of this virus and the support that everyone has given to healthcare workers has made me want to fight this even more. I’m humbled and honored to be where I am right now.

Everything started to change for me around March. I was in my ultrasound rotation—which is a more relaxed rotation. I had just finished my emergency department rotation, which was just a regular routine of seeing patients in the room, interacting with them, and finding out if they’re sick or not.I remember being shocked and confused the first day they prevented us from seeing any patients with respiratory complaints so that we would not contract the virus.

And after that, we got taken off the rotation entirely because they did not want anyone who did not have to be there working and potentially contracting the virus. They put up plastic walls, separated out the ER with barricades, and we started wearing surgical masks.

I moved over to the pediatric department, but occasionally, because some of my co-residents had to be quarantined, I’d cover for them. I was always on call during this time, and I needed to be ready at any moment to go work in any department, stay up to date with new information, and figure out what my method of practice would be.

There are highs and lows, but we're all finding ways to accentuate empathy and rally together with grace to beat this virus.

I'll never forget in AP U.S. history, during my junior year,Coach Williams told us about President Kennedy stirring the youth to serve their country in a multitude of ways.

That's what it feels like right now—an opportunity to serve our country—and its wonderful people. I'm thankful for it.We're motivated to help whoever comes in, and we work to quell everyone's fears and help them live healthier and thus happier lives.

I know I’ve achieved something when I’ve helped someone to the highest degree—whether that’s helping save their life, helping a family member or loved one, or just helping them in any way possible.

Now more than ever is a time to come together as a community to help those who need it the most and emphasize optimism in the same way that Mrs. Moix, Mr.Climer, Coach Zab, and Coach Tucker do each and every day.

Ideally, I would love to be working in an ER and serving in homeless clinics 10 years from now. Also, I would love to coach basketball for, if not my own children’s team, underserved children as well. I love the sport, and I think sports can teach you a lot about yourself.

When I began attending FRA, we were starting service learning. We helped build the garden behind the lower school, and I found out I loved serving and helping other people. So I figured, why not make a job out of it?

FRA taught me to lead by serving others. It’s humbling to be in my position on the frontlines, helping people who do not have the resources to stay healthy.

In everyday life and in every facet, FRA instills a hard-working attitude of, “Nothing is given to you, you need to go earn it.” My favorite verse to this day is Joshua 1:9. FRA taught me that I would make mistakes, but it’s going to be okay as long as I eventually reach the goal.

In my junior and senior years, I was taking five AP classes.Though my teachers were gracious, they pushed me to hit deadlines and not slack off. Those lessons of rigor and resilience are still with me today. As medical professionals, we are pushed everyday in the ER, but FRA taught me to love the challenge.

I would not be where I am today if it were not for my teachers and coaches at Franklin Road Academy. They motivated me every step of the way to reach my full potential, not only as a student but as a whole person.

I’m still Facebook friends with a lot of my old teachers, and keep up with them. Each person molded me in a different way. My soccer coaches, Coach McDonald and Coach Price, taught me never to quit.

Our teachers believe in us when we do not believe in ourselves, and always put our interests and happiness over their own. I will never see myself as a hero, but instead, my heroes are and forever will be my teachers and coaches.