She joins a long list of former Wolf Pack student-athletes who have gone on to professional schools. Most recently, Nevada has seen Shavon Moore (women's basketball), Jacob Anderson (baseball) and Katie Lyons (skiing) go on to medical school, Alex Borcherts (women's golf) enroll in nursing school and Meghann Morill (rifle) and Kimberly Medina (swimming) enter law school just to name a few.
A local product from Sparks, Longland earned her bachelor's degree in biology in May of 2014. She competed in numerous events for the Wolf Pack swimming team during her career including the backstroke and breaststroke disciplines as well as the medley and medley relay events. An academic all-conference honoree, she won Nevada's Give Back Like Jack Community Service Award in 2014 for her dedication for giving back to the community. She is a certified emergency medical technician (EMT) and volunteered more than 350 hours in the Northern Nevada Medical Emergency Room and more than 60 hours as a volunteer in the Student Outreach Clinic on campus.
We recently caught up with Longland to talk about entering medical school and how her athletics experience will help her in her career endeavors.
Q: What are your ultimate career goals?
A: My ultimate career goal is to become the best physician that I can be. I'm not quite sure what field I want to go into yet. But, for whatever field I eventually chose, I want to be somewhere that I can help patients and enjoy work every day.
Q: When did you decide that you wanted to pursue medical school?
A: At the end of my freshman year of college I saw medicine as a potential field that I may be interested in. I began volunteering in an emergency room and I became an EMT. These experiences made me realize how interesting and fun I found medicine to be, and I decided during my sophomore year that I wanted to become a physician.
Q: What did you do this summer to prepare (or to take a break from school)?
A: I prepared for medical school this summer by taking a complete mental and physical break. I spent a lot of time with my family and did some traveling. This break made me really excited to start school, and I think it was the best way to prepare for the next four challenging years.
Q: What do you think will be the most difficult part about your first year in medical school?
A: I think that the most difficult part of my first year will be adjusting to being just a student. I will need to put all of my time and energy into school, where previously I had always had multiple things to focus on. I am used to thinking about school, swimming, volunteering, and everything else. This will be the first time that I can put all of my work into school.
Q: How do you feel like your background as a high-level swimmer will help you as you pursue high-level post-graduate work?
A: There are so many ways that swimming has prepared me to be a better medical student. I have learned how to best manage my time. Also, the dedication, hard work and toughness that swimming required have taught me how to not only push though hard situations but to thrive in them. And it has also taught me that people are capable of much more than they ever thought they could be. I was always surprised at the end of a season at how much my teammates and I could accomplish. This has shown me that I can do more than I give myself credit for.