From MC to orthopedic surgeon to charitable foundation CEO

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Vince Morgan

MC alum Dr. Vince Morgan operating on patient.

A “gritty” education leads to a worthy success.

Dr. Vince Morgan, an orthopedic surgeon and 2011 graduate of Mount Carmel, grew up in the south suburb of Calumet Park. “Growing up in that area the park districts themselves were not always the strongest,” says Dr. Morgan, “but I was able to play football in the neighboring town of Blue Island including soccer.”

Presently Dr. Morgan is the CEO of the Populi foundation, an organization that provides service to those who are economically disadvantaged. Dr. Morgan along with his colleague came up with the idea for the program in the fall of 2018 and released the pilot in the spring of 2019. It’s still a work in progress to this day.

“We developed a curriculum where we highlighted roadblocks or important aspects of pre-medical education. Along with this curriculum we devised a program where we would essentially incentivize mentors for medical school in order to be paired up on a one-to-one basis with these pre-med students to help them get through the curriculum.”

Dr. Morgan, although being very successful, had to go through many challenges in order to get to where he is today.

As a kid, he took advantage of the local library where he spent a lot of time reading. Dr. Morgan attended a Catholic junior high and in seventh grade considered continuing his education at Mount Carmel.

It was a perfect fit because Dr. Morgan wanted to be a part of a strong community and make his family proud. Through freshman and senior year Dr. Morgan played football, soccer, and track, enjoying them greatly. He describes his experience at Mount Carmel as “elevating.”

“In Mount Carmel, you are faced with challenges such as being challenged academically, physically, or mentally,” he says. “You have to rise to those challenges in order to overcome them.”

Mount Carmel always challenged Dr. Morgan, and throughout his time there he didn’t just help himself but for others around him as well. Going to this high school opened a lot of doors for Dr. Morgan, and he is grateful for the tradition and the history that the school carries with it.

Dr. Morgan attended Pomona College in Claremont, California where he recalls a past challenge he faced. “I remember not doing well on one of my first exams. I got hit with the shock once I got to that next level. I think what really helped as far as learning things from Mount Carmel that made me push through things, moreover, persevere, was at Mount Carmel I learned how to be gritty and work through these challenges I faced.”

Through the Posse Scholarship Program, Dr. Morgan was able to attend Pomona College and participate in its strong academic program and extracurricular activities such as football. Dr. Morgan attended medical school at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine.

“The decision I made to become a doctor was something I decided on when I was in high school,” he says, “but it took a lot of searching along the pre-medical path to becoming an orthopedic surgeon.”

An orthopedic surgeon is a doctor who mainly specializes in the musculoskeletal system. This consists of bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles that are crucial to movement in everyday life. In orthopedic surgery, “We can make a very large change in the quality of life.”

Dr. Morgan thinks it’s very powerful to return life to those who have lost something, for instance, performing a hip replacement due to arthritis can change someone’s life for the better. As of today, Dr. Morgan is still building upon the Populi foundation, focusing on future goals and ideas. “We want to continue to expand our reach when it comes to the number of mentors, mentees, or college students. The second thing we want is to get to a place where we want to provide resources to help lessen the financial burden of our mentees. Our goal is to be able to provide our premedical students resources that will allow them to better afford traveling to interviews and help pay cash fees or application fees for medical school.”

Right now Dr. Morgan is in a good place. He is looking towards the coming months to provide help to those who need it the most and the Populi foundation will be right behind him.

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