Cars and Care: Gaven Bowman Applies Skills Learned from Restoring Classics to Medical Career
Growing up in a family passionate about hot rods, Bowman has been tinkering with classic cars since his childhood. Bowman’s father runs their family business, Bowman Real Hot Rods, which restores and customizes classic cars.
“I have always been drawn to the autobody and paintwork component of classic car restorations,” Bowman said. “Although it can be challenging and difficult work, being able to bring a car that was once rotting back to its former glory, and even beyond, is truly an incredible and rewarding experience.”
With much of his childhood revolving around agriculture and auto mechanics, one may wonder what led Bowman down his path to pursuing a career in medicine. Bowman says that his interest in medicine began when he was diagnosed with a Candida overgrowth in his intestinal microbiome. During his treatment, he became fascinated with the anatomy and physiology of the human body. As he grew older, his interest in medicine was further strengthened through the loss of his grandfather and the near loss of another family friend. “The older I became, the more I yearned to improve the lives of those around me, and the rest has slowly fallen into place piece by piece,” Bowman says.
Bowman has found many parallels between the art of medicine and his hobby of restoring classic cars. Skills he has honed from restoring classic cars such as time and stress management, problem-solving, critical thinking, and customer-centered service are often looked for in health care professionals.
Originally from Brandon, South Dakota, Bowman attended Augustana University for his undergraduate studies. While at Augustana, he earned his bachelor’s degree in biology, with minors in chemistry and business administration, after which Bowman enrolled at SSOM.
In his first two years of medical school at SSOM, Bowman has found several meaningful ways to get involved in his community, including volunteering at the Servant’s Heart Clinic in Yankton, the Welcome Table in Vermillion and the Farm Show in Sioux Falls. In addition to his volunteer experiences, Bowman has taken on leadership roles as the class representative and vice president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement SSOM chapter, along with being a class representative for the Welcome Table of Vermillion and the treasurer for the Family Medicine Interest Group. Bowman is also active in the rural medicine interest group.
Currently a Pillar 2 student at the Parkston Family And Rural Medicine (FARM) site, Bowman is immersing himself in the experience and loving every second of it. “In the brief few months that I have been at this facility, I have been blessed to be a part of various patient experiences that have not only shaped my clinical knowledge, but additionally, have influenced how I will choose to provide care for my future patients.
“In addition to the hands-on clinical learning, I believe the FARM program is unique in the manner that the faculty, our fellow FARM students and our attendees get to cultivate bonds together that I believe are quite special to that of a smaller health care facility,” Bowman continued. “It is truly a privilege to be able to be a student within the FARM program and I am thankful each day that I am able to both learn from and help improve the health of the Parkston community.”
Bowman is currently leaning toward pursuing a career in family medicine because of the sheer scope and opportunity that exists within the specialty, especially within a rural setting. He particularly appreciates the strength of the continuity of care with patients that family medicine provides.
“You can be involved with a patient’s care from the moment they are born until the moment they pass from this world,” Bowman said. “I also admire how rural health care is constantly evolving and adapting. An average day can range from simply caring for patients in the clinic to delivering a newborn during evening call. There is always an opportunity to expand within your practice, improve the lives of those in your community, and experience fulfillment in the care that you are providing.”
When asked what advice he may have for students applying to medical school, Bowman shared advice that can apply to current medical students and as well as physicians: “Always hold kindness and humility close to your heart.
“Although our patients may not remember every aspect about us, they will always remember how we treated them, how we listened to them, and how we made them feel,” Bowman continued. “It is truly an honor to be able to serve our patients as both medical students and physicians. Always treat those around you with kindness, compassion and humility; you may never know how a small act of kindness today may make a world of difference tomorrow for each person you meet.”
This story was written by Cole Tessendorf, Callie Olson and Autumn Hurd, students in the USD Sanford School of Medicine Student News Group.
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