Student-Athlete Pursues Excellence in Patient Care
As an EMT, Eutectics Cross Country runner and pharmacy student, sophomore Enze Hao is setting his sights on a future career in health care.
Born and raised in China, Hao moved with his family to Texas in 2012 where his father was a visiting scholar at a university. A year later, he and his family moved back to China, but Hao decided that he wanted to attend high school in the U.S. In 2018, he moved back to Texas to attend a private high school in League City where he ran track and cross country.
Finding the right fit
During his sophomore year, Hao was recruited by UHSP’s cross country coach.
“Most of the colleges I applied to were in Texas,” Hao said. “But I was invited to fly to St. Louis and attend a Eutectics cross country practice as a high school student. That visit made me excited about UHSP.”
Hao received colligate offers from several of the largest and most prestigious D1 schools in Texas, but none of them provided a chance for him to continue running cross country and track, while studying health sciences-related programs.
“Coming right out of high school, many college freshmen don’t get to start on a team right away,” Hao said. “Also, the time commitment for sports at a large university can limit the majors you can choose from. At UHSP, I could be an athlete and pursue pharmacy.”
Hao says he was also excited by the connection he saw between members of the cross country team.
“I just loved the environment at UHSP and how encouraging the team was with each other,” Hao explained. “I wanted to be a part of that closeness.”
Finding balance as an athlete and EMT
In 2021, Hao applied and was accepted to UHSP. The next year, he became a member of the Eutectics Men’s Cross Country team and began working as an EMT.
“I started working as a volunteer firefighter in St. Charles County, Missouri,” Hao explained. “Then I got in contact with someone who was in the rural EMS service in Illinois, and I started volunteering for them. Eventually I started working for the 911 Advance Life Support (ALS) EMS service, and right now I’m in the paramedic program as a paramedic intern.”
Hao quickly had to learn how to balance being a full-time student, a student-athlete and a job that required 24-48-hour shifts. While he notes it wasn’t easy, he says he was able to find a balance with the help of his coaches and teammates.
“I had quite a learning curve my freshman year trying to balance everything and be diligent in my studies,” Hao noted. “But my coach and my teammates supported me by helping me train for my sport, while also tutoring me in my classes. I just loved how eager they were to help me out.”
Hao is currently studying pre-pharmacy and he says his experience being a pre-hospital EMT provider has given him a clear path to the kind of health care he wants to be able to provide.
“I am hoping to get into the Pharm.D. program at UHSP and then maybe go to medical school,” Hao noted. “I want to continue to be an EMS provider and continue my education here and learn the most advanced EMS techniques from our resource hospital to be able to provide the best quality of care that I can to the patient in a pre-hospital environment.”
As he works toward his career in health care, Hao says UHSP’s prime location in the heart of the Washington University Medical Complex makes the University a perfect place to learn.
“This is a great environment to go to school,” Hao said. “At UHSP you are surrounded by hospitals and other health care buildings that offer opportunities to shadow medical professionals or to work in hospitals to gain real-world experience in health care.”
In his brief time at UHSP, Hao says he’s had some great experiences, and he encourages other student athletes with a passion for health care to consider UHSP.
“For student athletes who are interested in a health care program in the future or a health care career, I think that UHSP is a good school for you,” Hao stated. “You get to keep doing what you like in athletics, and you can be a health care provider in the future.”