BYU alumnus and anesthesiologist Dr. Nick Tinkham told BYU-Hawaii pre-med and pre-law students on Nov. 14 to take advantage of opportunities that may not seem to be relevant to their career fields.
Tinkham, from North Carolina, centered his Legal Studies Forum topic on how life’s rollercoaster brought him to where he is today and how what once were closed doors and disappointments are now experiences he can look back on and see as blessings. “When I first entered college, my dream was to be a mechanical engineer. … When I got to med school, I hoped to be an optometrist, but I wasn’t accepted into the program.
“The Lord opens doors for you as you strive to follow your dreams. The path that takes you there isn’t always the path that you think it will be, but he gets you there.”
Tinkham’s remarks opened up student’s eyes to possible tracks to achieving their dreams and the importance of doing something they love as an undergraduate. Jackie Tapia, a senior in political science from Virginia and co-president of the Pre-Law Society, explained how Tinkham’s remarks helped her to understand that throughout all student’s journeys to achieve their goals, there will be many changes in life and unforeseen opportunities that students should capitalize on.
Tapia said, “I will definitely keep my options open and take advantage of any opportunities that I can. I want to explore my capabilities in areas that I am not comfortable or experienced in.”
Tinkham counseled the students on the importance of prioritizing church callings and family. He promised the students that the “Lord always provides” for those that put him first. “Your time in a day is finite. You only have 24 hours in a day so you will find that if you don’t prioritize, you will not accomplish what you hope to.
“You have to take care of yourself spiritually, physically, and emotionally because if you don’t, you will run out of steam and find yourself in trouble.”
Christine Morte, a senior in biomedicine from the Philippines and vice-president of the Pre-Law Society, said, “If you’re a student, take advantage of all the opportunities you have on campus to attend forums and meet professionals. You can always come back to Hawaii to enjoy the beach, but you won’t always have the opportunities that you have here on campus to network and prepare for your future.”
Tinkham explained the importance of showing kindness to everyone and how kind actions can be a powerful tool in networking and helping an individual to find a job. He warned, “Don’t be a pushover, but be nice. It will serve you well.”
Ulziika Sukhbaatar, a senior in anthropology and political science from Mongolia and co-president of the Pre-Law Society, explained the Pre-Law Society teamed up with the Health Care Professionals Club to invite a doctor to speak.
Sukhbaatar said, “We want our students to explore and get different ideas of fields and studies they could go into. Legal studies are not only for judges and lawyers to come, because whatever you learn here can apply to the future.”
According to the event Facebook page, Tinkham received his M.D. and Global Masters of Public Health degrees from the University of North Carolina. He performs comprehensive pain management and general anesthesiology at the Departments of Anesthesiology and Chronic Pain Management at Womack Army Medical Center.