From the Marines to the University of Connecticut Health Center, Gregory de Gruchy has seen and done it all.
“The military was what got me into health care,” de Gruchy said. “I wasn’t particularly interested in coming back to school and doing research, but I did some mental health training when I was in the military because I was in a high-deployment unit, and because I was in a leadership position. I was the go-to person to help out people who were struggling to get the resources they need.”
De Gruchy went on to say helping others was something he found rewarding, and something he wanted to continue doing as a career.
He was in Iraq from 2008-2009 working as an aviation ordinance technician. He then came back and got certified as a Marine Corps martial arts instructor as a side job, he said.
De Gruchy went to Afghanistan from 2010-2011 and worked as a work center supervisor.
After his four years in the marines, he enrolled in the undergraduate allied health program in the fall of 2011 and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2014.
“The allied health program was a very good program, specifically for me,” De Gruchy said. “It was a very clinically focused program, which kind of worked out towards my interests. The fact that it was clinically oriented over research oriented and had smaller classes made a big difference for me. I had some really good mentorship and professors from that program.”
Along the way, he met kinesiology department head Craig R. Denegar.
“When I met Greg he was interested in applying to med school in emergency medicine and orthopedics,” Denegar said. “At every opportunity Greg just jumped in and did great work. He is smart, compassionate and funny. He is just one of the most positive people you will ever meet.”
In his gap year after graduation, De Gruchy began research with the kinesiology department and still continues that research today. He researches how maturation affects injuries in youths age eight to 16-years-old.
The 28-year-old from Hillsborough, New Jersey is unsure what path he will take after he receives his doctorate, but said he still has a little time to figure it out. After graduation he must complete a one year residency internship to be board certified.
He is currently taking classes on oncology, one of his bigger interests, at the UConn Health Center. If he is not taking classes he is usually at clinical, studying or volunteering in his community.
Currently, De Gruchy serves as the policy chair for the American Medical Association chapter at the UConn School of Medicine. He helped author and lead the effort to pass a policy to get the AMA to include sexual orientation and gender identity in its demographic collection of members. He is also working on modernizing language involving racial disparities in the community.
De Gruchy was featured as the November veteran of the month by the UConn Veterans Affairs and Military Programs.
Claire Galvin is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.