Healing Words

By Dawson Turcotte (Medical Biology, ’24) with Joel Soloway

Dawson Turcotte, from Skowhegan, Maine, is a pre-med student currently in his third year of the 3+4 accelerated Medical Biology-Medical Sciences track. With an intensive class schedule and countless hours of studying, shadowing, and working, Turcotte still prioritizes his passion for writing poetry. Poetry is an important part of his personal and professional journey, and, for Turcotte, it has become a creative and spontaneous outlet. In addition to becoming a physician, Turcotte hopes to one day publish a book of his poems.

Turcotte intends to stay in Maine for medical school and attend the UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is already deeply involved in the campus community as vice president of the Pre-Med Club, co-president and co-founder of the UNE Giving Tree Society, treasurer of the Partners for World Health Club, a student worker in the chronic pain lab of Geoffrey Ganter, Ph.D., and participant in the inaugural Presidential Ambassadors program.

U N E student Dawson Durcotte writes a poem sitting in a chair in the Biddeford campus library

I began writing poetry in the sixth grade as part of an English assignment. Although it started as something I would be given a grade for, it quickly turned into something I was doing in my free time. I found peace in writing poems. Poetry was, and still is, a great way for me to process both positive and negative emotions. The culmination of years of writing has led me to craft over fifty poems that I am truly proud of.

For me, poetry is not something that I can just write on command, but rather something that comes to me spontaneously. UNE has fostered this spontaneity, as the beautiful coastal campus offers plenty of inspiration, often striking me unexpectedly.

Although the path into medicine is science heavy, I feel as though poetry will serve me well in the future. Poetry has taught me a lot about how our words can be a powerful way to connect with others, serving as a reminder to never lose sight of the human aspects of medicine.

U N E student Dawson Durcotte looks at a painting in the Biddeford campus art gallery

Bonus Content


by Dawson Turcotte

I have seen the ocean’s dark depths
I have seen the rocky shore
Every time I leave the sea I always ask, what for?

The ocean is unfriendly
Often times I cry
For I am all alone out here
Just my thoughts and I

Someday when I return home
I will have stories to tell
One for every passing

And one for every swell

When I grow old
And cannot travel anymore
I will sit down and ponder

All that I have explored

The ocean has become a part of me
I know it better than myself
The ocean is merciless
But I can’t live without

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