Brothers graduate from medical school together
Friday, May 7, 2021
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This summer will be just the second time in nearly 25 years that brothers Tyler and Taylor Snyder won’t be living under the same roof. Both are graduating together from the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine on May 15.
The brothers — who are members of the Cherokee Nation — grew up in Westville, Oklahoma, and have been roommates as they worked their way through medical school. Tyler, who is a year and a half older than Taylor, was attending the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville studying poultry science before being joined by his brother there, who was pre-med.
“I had the idea my senior year of high school that I wanted to be a doctor,” Taylor said. “I had an ear infection that ruptured my ear drum. As I was sitting in the doctor’s office I thought ‘This is something I could do.’”
Tyler said he soon knew that poultry science wasn’t his future, so he decided to check out medicine with his brother.
Both brothers volunteered at a veteran’s hospital and shadowed several physicians in the Cherokee Nation Health System, where they had received care in the past.
“The Cherokee Nation has been instrumental to us. We shadowed with them, we’ve utilized the health care system, we’ve been awarded scholarships. We both received an Indian Health Service Scholarship,” Tyler said.
When it came time to apply to medical schools, both brothers had different reasons for choosing OSU.
“All but one of the doctors I shadowed was a DO and I had great experiences with all of them. It was important for me to go to a DO school,” Tyler said.
For Taylor, it was more about where he felt the most at home.
“I came to OSU and everyone was friendly and supportive. OSU was definitely the best fit for me,” he said.
Tyler and Taylor said having each other there made them better students.
“My brother was always a year ahead of me and he always made good grades so it pushed me to do just as well, if not better,” Taylor said.
It was the same for Tyler.
“Taylor pushed me a lot to make better grades in our undergraduate years. I think that helped me push myself in medical school,” Tyler said.
They were also each other’s study partner and cheerleader.
"Med school is a very stressful time. Having that built-in support system was really helpful."
In July, both will begin their residencies in different cities. Tyler will begin his Family Medicine residency at the Cherokee Nation Outpatient Health Center in Tahlequah.
“I liked the clinic and I felt I could make a bigger impact there,” Tyler said. “It’s important to give back. So many people have helped us along the way at the Cherokee Nation.”
Taylor matched with OSU Medicine Pediatrics and will begin his residency this summer in Tulsa.
“I always wanted to go into pediatrics. It was inclination when I was 17 years old,” Taylor said. “But eventually I want to go back as well and practice near home.”
While they were close before, Tyler said the experience of going through and now graduating from medical school together just brought them even closer.
“Even though we went to high school and undergrad together, medical school is a different animal,” Tyler said. “We were forced to rely on each other. I wouldn’t change it.”