From Sports to Sports Medicine
Patrick Saunders ’08
Many if not most students at NHS come from towns and cities much larger than New Hampton, New Hampshire. It may take some time to adjust to the quiet and relative geographic isolation of the School. So you would think that someone who grew up in nearby Gilford (population 7,700) would feel right at home, right away. But that wasn’t quite the case for Patrick Saunders. He needed to make a different kind of adjustment.
“Here I was, a small-town boy and suddenly I was in School with kids from big cities and different countries and cultures. It took some getting used to.”
He also had to get used to the fact that, though a basketball standout in Gilford, he was now playing at a higher level of competition and with more experienced teammates.
“I was actually kind of intimidated,” he says. “Fortunately, I had great coaches and trainers every step of the way. They prepared not only for varsity level but also for college play.”
The coaches obviously did well, for Patrick went on to play basketball for four years at Princeton University. During his senior year at Princeton, Patrick decided against professional basketball in favor of medical school at the University of Vermont. Today, Patrick is in his fourth year of residency in Orthopedics at the University of Arizona, considering sports medicine as his specialty. “I can relate to all sorts of sports injuries,” he says, chuckling.
You don’t get to be a doctor, though, by playing basketball. Patrick says he was well prepared for college and medical school, thanks to his parents, who stressed the importance of education, and New Hampton School. I wouldn’t have been able to have such an incredible experience like NHS without the financial help, and it changed the entire course of my life. I would want the same opportunity for all.” PATRICK SAUNDERS ’08 “
“Academically, New Hampton was challenging and really prepared me for Princeton. The teachers and the administration were just fantastic. They still are.”
Patrick points out that his life would undoubtedly be different today if it weren’t for the opportunity to attend NHS, made possible by a scholarship and financial aid.
“I wouldn’t have been able to have such an incredible experience like NHS without the financial help, and it changed the entire course of my life,” he says. “I would want the same opportunity for all. I think it also helps to increase and enhance the diversity of the population at NHS by including people who are from backgrounds such as mine, where wealth isn’t necessarily a part of their upbringing.”
“I wouldn’t have had my New Hampton School experience without financial help, and it changed the entire course of my life. I want the same opportunity for all.”Patrick Saunders ’08