Jim Miller Reflection: Peter Martin

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since Dr. Miller passed away, especially since I am reminded of his absence almost daily when I walk into the  science building. I came to know Dr. Miller more outside of the classroom during the first semester of my junior year. I was a commuter student living with my parents at that point. It was a hard change for me to be living at home and not seeing my friends as much, and Dr. Miller took notice of this and spent some of his lunch breaks with me. We often spoke of the marching band at Goshen High School since my brother and his children were all members of the band. It was evident in these conversations that his priorities were focused in the right places: his family, his students and his faith.

Through the course of this year I have been struggling to organize my own thoughts about his untimely passing. In his absence, I worked through the medical school application process without Dr. Miller’s guidance. Looking back at that process, there were many times that I wished I could have asked for his help. Even sitting through my recent interview at Indiana University without him, knowing everything that he did to get me there, felt bittersweet. His encouragement to me to pursue medicine and his confidence in me were two major factors in my decision to work toward medical school. Knowing that he will not be able to watch more students succeed under his tutelage is a painful thought.

Still, I am encouraged because I know how many health professionals attribute a large part of their success to Dr. Miller. I remember looking through the  memorial pages for Dr. Miller, and the diversity of people who remembered him was astounding. Physicians and nurses from across the United States mourned with the Goshen College community because of the loss of the person who first encouraged them to pursue their dreams. One year later, as I prepare to pursue my own dreams of becoming a physician, I am still grateful for all that Dr. Miller has done for the Goshen College community and the medical profession as a whole. Dr. Miller may no longer be with us in person, but his impact will continue to be felt throughout the world in the healing service that his former students provide.

Peter Martin is a senior science major.

Matthew Amstutz
Written by Matthew Amstutz

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