Christopher “Chris” McLaughlin, of Thornton, Pennsylvania, received Virginia Tech’s 2017 Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Outstanding Graduate Award.
Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Outstanding Graduate Award recognizes exceptional academic achievement and leadership by a graduating student in each of the university’s non-undergraduate colleges.
McLaughlin will receive his M.D. degree during the school’s graduation ceremony May 6 at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke.
McLaughlin’s academic achievements during medical school are many. On a national level, he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He received eight Letters of Distinction, including one for his research project, which was published in an academic journal and on which he presented six times at conferences. He was awarded three scholarships, as well as the Excellence in Interprofessional Education Student Award by Virginia Commonwealth University.
McLaughlin also excelled in leadership, serving as president of the Class of 2017, the student member of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s Board of Directors this year, and chair of the Student Advisory Committee of the Virginia Tech Integration Committee. He was also inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society.
A number of McLaughlin’s extracurricular activities were centered around the concept of mentoring medical students. He co-founded Big Hokie-Little Hokie, a resident-medical student mentorship program between the medical school and Carilion Clinic, and co-developed Survival Guides for students in their first two years at the school of medicine. In addition, he served during orientation for new students and was a member of the Collaborating Across Borders V conference planning committee.
McLaughlin’s service to Virginia Tech and the Roanoke community included participation in Kid’s Tech and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. He was an assistant coach for the Cave Spring National Little League and the Roanoke Valley Youth Hockey Association as well as a judge for the Western Virginia Science Fair and a trainer for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services’ REVIVE program to help reverse opioid overdoses.
“From day one, Chris has shown an aptitude for leadership and a humanistic desire to serve others, while at the same time excelling academically,” said Cynda Johnson, M.D., dean of the school. “But even more remarkable are his intangible traits of warmth, maturity, humility, and graciousness. He sets the bar for the physician thought leader that our school strives to develop.”
This summer, McLaughlin will begin a residency in general surgery at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.