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Owner of a private practice in Atlanta, Georgia
Lara Hart, MD spent time in the Philadelphia area growing up but attended high school in Texas and Virginia, graduating from Falls Church School in Falls Church, Virginia. She found her way to GMercyU where she majored in Biology with a minor in Psychology.
"I knew of GMercyU from living in the area and hearing good things about the education. I did a little research and applied. I loved the small class sizes and personal touches throughout the school," Dr. Hart said.
One of Dr. Hart's favorite parts of GMercyU was the student support services she was offered. She is a single parent, and at the time she was starting out, her daughter was only six months old. The University was consistently supportive of her needs, and her daughter even attended Hobbit House.
GMercyU offered excellent counseling services, for both academic and personal uses, to Dr. Hart. She was guided through the process of registering for classes and was assisted in creating a schedule that worked for both Dr. Hart and her daughter.
"The support of all the professors was such that I have not seen in most places - they were focused on US as students, not their own priorities unrelated to the overall success of the student body," Dr. Hart said.
"My experience in the Biology program was top notch. I was set up to success in medical school with an excellent base in not just biology, but biochemistry, molecular biology, and other non-science subjects like religion, ethics, and history," Dr. Hart said.
Dr. Hart felt like she could also ask questions and never had to hesitate. The environment the program fostered was very personalized, and Dr. Hart felt like she was set up for success.
"The Sisters of mercy created an environment that fostered learning and friendship," Dr. Hart said.
Two faculty members, in particular, stood out to Dr. Hart - Dr. Felicia Barbieri and Sister Ann Donegan. Dr. Barbieri helped her navigate the process of applying to medical school and taught her everything she needed to know about biochemistry. Dr. Hart particularly enjoyed molecular biology with Sister Ann.
"Learning how to grow and culture cells in the lab, fomulate an experience, and follow through will always be a core memory," Dr. Hart said.
Dr. Hart did not always know that she wanted to attend medical school, but it was something that she always had in mind as an option.
"GMercyU exposed me to many different opportunities in the biology field and encouraged me to try things - like volunteering - that helped me realize that medical school and a career as a physician was what I wanted. Their close contacts with local hospitals and Merck granted us opportunities we may not have had elsewhere," Dr. Hart said.
In 2008, she graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine and returned to school to complete her OB/GYN residency from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center-Memphis in 2012.
She now owns a private practice outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
"I take care of a large volume of patients, operate and take calls at the busiest women's hospital in the country, and am clinical faculty with August University/UGA/Medical College of Georgia," Dr. Hart said.
She teaches medical students both in the office and in the hospital. Dr. Hart enjoys traveling and participating in medical mission work, and has a strong passion for baking.
"GMercyU's Biology program gave me the groundwork I needed to prosper in medical school. I had more hands-on training in the lab than my peers, which gave me a deeper understanding of the biochemistry and molecular biology of the human body. The classes offered, like immunology, genetics, biochemistry, etc., laid the foundation for what was to come and made it easier to succeed," Dr. Hart said.