Jordan Lukens

Serving as Ohio State’s iconic mascot “Brutus” influenced my decision to pursue medicine.


Medical student Jordan Lukens practicing medicine on a plastic armI’m a second-year medical student at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. As an undergrad at Ohio State, I joined the cheer team. During football games and events around campus, I got a behind-the-scenes view of Ohio State’s mascot, Brutus Buckeye, and his contagious energy when he interacted with everyone, young and old. I knew I wanted to be part of that feeling. So I joined the mascot team where I could audition for the role of Brutus. Soon, I was pulling on Brutus’ five-pound head, donning the signature scarlet and gray striped shirt with the “00” on the back and hitting tailgates, Skull Sessions and leading the football team onto the field.

My biggest moment as Brutus was when I got to meet Donnie Wahlberg and perform on stage at the Schottenstein Center with New Kids On The Block. The fans were going crazy, and I was doing the head bang and tucks. It was amazing.

I started visiting patients undergoing chemotherapy at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. I visited sick children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. I’ll never forget the looks on patients’ faces when I walked into the room. They couldn’t believe that the same Brutus they watched on TV had come to visit them in their room. I really brightened their days.

I saw the impact Brutus could have on patients without even talking. I started to wonder, could I have that same impact without the suit? I began to think that becoming a doctor would be my opportunity.

I decided to apply to medical school so I could merge my desire to make an impact in the community with medicine. Being accepted at Ohio State allowed me to continue my outreach and education in the community I’ve grown to love and cherish.

The College of Medicine takes a holistic approach to medical education. As learners, we develop clinical skills early on while participating in simulations and research and performing community service.

The college’s Lead.Serve.Inspire. (LSI) curriculum makes the college’s program unique. You gain clinical practice and the chance to participate in patient care early on, way before you start clinical rotations in your third year. There are simulations, opportunities to conduct research and service-learning projects out in the community.

Faculty are another reason for my continued success. They’re very involved and caring. They email and ask me in person how I’m doing, how my studying is coming along or how I’m enjoying anatomy lab. They want to know about me as a person and that makes it feel like we truly are a Buckeye family.

I know I made the right decision to study medicine at Ohio State. I’m honored to be able to share my Buckeye spirit with so many in the community.

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