Dr. Jonathan Sharrett: From Humble Beginnings to Radiation Oncology Residency

Dr. Jonathan Sharrett


Dr. Jonathan Sharrett is a 2015 VCOM-Carolinas – Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine graduate and a military veteran. Dr. Sharrett is currently in his Radiation Oncology Residency Program at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Here he shares a truly inspirational story of his journey from humble beginnings to pursuing his dream of becoming an oncologist at one of the top hospitals in the country.



Facebook post from @dr.jsharrett:

In honor of National First Generation College Student Day, I want to say I’m incredibly grateful to my parents, who although did not go to college, selflessly sacrificed so much to provide me the structured home, life skills, discipline, love, etc to help me persevere and graduate from college with the highest honors of Summa Cum Laude and then go on to graduate Medical School as the top student in my class with a 4.0 didactic GPA, and get into one of the most competitive residencies in the U.S. being Radiation Oncology at the #2 ranked hospital in the country #clevelandclinic where I am currently finishing up my specialty training.

Although I do not like boasting, there is a point to be made and context for the details. I grew up in a small town in East Tennessee in a trailer park all my life until I left for active military duty service. I often felt inferior and ashamed of that, although in retrospect now I’m ashamed that I was ashamed. I do not consider myself “privileged” despite what you may think upon looking at me without knowing my background.

My father had a GED and was a construction worker, yet I believe he is more intelligent than me. My mother graduated high school and worked at McDonalds as a manager and a factory worker. I am completely humble and grateful to them for their sacrifices and unending love and support. My father always told me that people can take a lot from me, but “not that knowledge” and that “knowledge is power.”

I always kept this in mind. The skills they taught me are much more than any college degree could have provided. I am their investment, and part of the fruit of their labors. My hope is that I will be able to use my story one day as an example to help other young struggling kids to believe in themselves, to not give up and not doubt their self worth, dreams, and contributions they can make to society if given the opportunity!

I’m thankful for the opportunity given to me by @college_nowgc in Cleveland, OH to start that process now as a mentor. #celebratefirstgen #mentorincle @etsu @vcomcarolinas #cleveland #undergrad #medicalschool #residency #residentlife #dreams #vision

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About the author : Tammy Whaley

Tammy E. Whaley is the executive director of the South Carolina Osteopathic Medical Society (SCOMS).

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