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Mr. MUSC uses title for charitable good
By Dawn Brazell | News Center | April 8, 2013
Physician Assistant student Lamar Hood balances his studies with working out five days a week to stay in shape.
Lamar Hood drops down onto the sidewalk in MUSC’s horseshoe to pound out a few one-armed push-ups. The 27-year-old physician assistant student won the title of Mr. MUSC in February, a title he’s honored to carry for the year.
Hood said he was surprised to win. “The guys were all great guys,” he said, adding that the competition spurred him to get back in shape. One of the hardest parts was learning the dance routine. “I only have two dance moves, and I used both of them.”
The best part of the competition, though, is that it raised more than double of last year’s event, and it was for a cause Hood is willing to break a sweat. The $3,700 in proceeds from the competition among males in the university’s six colleges went to the Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic, a non-profit organization providing health care to uninsured adults living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level on Johns, Wadmalaw and James islands. The volunteer-run facility has seen nearly 3,000 patients free of charge.
The following is a Q & A with the reigning Mr. MUSC.
What was it like winning the contest?
Words can't describe how thrilled I was to hear my name called as the winner or Mr. MUSC. There was a lot of weight on my shoulders to win this for the College of Health Professions' Physician Assistant (PA) program and I was honored to have the opportunity to represent my class. However, winning wasn't the best part; the thing I enjoyed most about the whole experience was meeting the outstanding group of gentlemen that competed with me.
What makes your school so great?
In my biased opinion, I truly believe we have the best group of professors on campus. Each one of them truly cares about each and every one us not only as students, but as individuals and future colleagues. They take the time to get to know each of us individually and give 110 percent everyday to shape us into the best PA's we can possibly be.
What do you do to have fun?
I have a variety of passions that I do for fun. First and foremost is playing music. I can't tell you how many times I've sat in a room with a guitar and before I knew it, four or five hours had gone by. It's something I've enjoyed doing from a very young age and I can't imagine my life without music. Secondly, I truly enjoy being outdoors surrounded by nature and often spend many hours either sitting on a boat fishing or sitting in the woods hunting. By participating in both of these activities, I have had the opportunity to witness many astonishing things that mother nature has to offer.
What's your life philosophy?
Live each day to the fullest and as if there is no tomorrow.
What are your career goals?
Since my time as a corpsman in the United States Navy, my biggest career goal was to continue on to physicians assistant school. Now that I'm here my newest goal is to be the best PA I can be for my patients and colleagues when I graduate in 2014.
People would be surprised to know what about you?
I have a huge soft spot for dogs. I have three hound rescues and am currently fostering a fourth for a local rescue group.
Did you have to up your game or learn any new skills to win the contest?
Fortunately, I didn't have to learn any new skills in order to win Mr. MUSC; ‘ain't nobody got time for that.’ However, I do feel I had to up my game a bit in order to compete with the other exceptional contestants. Each of them brought an aspect to every category that was unique, and I knew if I wanted to win I would have to bring my A game.
How do you plan to use your role as Mr. MUSC to change what's possible?
The Mr. MUSC pageant is the Physician Assistant program's annual philanthropic event, and this year we were able to raise $3,700 for the Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic located on Johns Island. The money raised by this event will go directly to providing much needed medical care to uninsured adults living at or below the Federal poverty level on Johns, Wadmalaw and James Island. By helping these patients with their chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and coronary disease, among many others, we are providing those with the most need a much better quality of life.