Matt Abeln

Major: Peace Studies
Focus: Natural Science

Matt attended medical school at Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C.

“My journey to peace studies began in my last year of high school when I participated in a campus ministry service trip to an impoverished region of Mexico. This was my first transformative experience, and it left me with a strong desire to better understand our world so that I could do more to help heal it. Ultimately, peace studies offered me a supportive and thoughtful community so I could build bridges and keep them standing.”

“I began my career at St. John’s in pre medicine. I loved my high school anatomy and physiology courses, and I could think of no better way for me to help others. However, I also felt that a good physician ought to be able to do more than just understand the science of medicine.”

“Peace studies was a very logical step for me then. I wanted something that could help me to develop an adequate and intellectually honest worldview that could better comprehend what I first saw in Mexico. I wanted to include myself in efforts to heal the world and combine that effort with the skills to heal ailing individuals. I am not sure I could have articulated that then, but I see clearly now what I was trying to develop with peace studies.

“Peace studies allowed me to pursue these goals in a many ways. I did an independent study in Chinese Medicine while I was a student in China. This gave me a good initial introduction to a different paradigm of medicine. I also lived and worked for over a year in Chicago with homeless families and refugees from Central and South America. I learned to ask more complete questions about life and about health and disease. It is difficult to say exactly how, but somehow these questions will pervade my life as a physician.”