Meldra Hall

Finding her passion in medicine

Meldra Hall says the most important thing she learned during her Jan Term internship with LaGrange cardiologist Dr. Robert Copeland had nothing to do with medical theory.

“Being a physician requires understanding what exactly is wrong with a patient, not necessarily ordering a lot of drugs and saying, ‘Here, let’s see if this works.’ Dr. Copeland took a lot of time to figure out the symptoms so he could have the best diagnosis. It opened my eyes to what it really takes to be a physician. He connected with his patients and made sure to get on that personal level with them. I really was inspired by that.”

Meldra, a junior biochemistry major, says she’s always been fascinated by the human body.

“It’s very complex and in depth, and I love knowing the mechanisms and the processes that all work together to create the human body, even though I have only touched the surface. I love knowing the chemical processes going on when you are just breathing and sitting. There are all the processes that allow you to see light, all the electrical impulses that allow you to feel things. It just blows my mind.”

One of her favorite parts of her internship was a visit to a local clinic.

“We went to Troup Cares, which Dr. Copeland founded for patients who are working but don’t have insurance. These patients are so grateful for the service. There was one woman who described her symptoms. We walked out in the hall and Dr. Copeland asked me if I knew what she had. I told him what I thought, and I was right. It was very satisfying that I could go in there and figure out how to help the patient.”

The love of science runs in her family. Her father is Dr. Melvin Hall, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Physics at the college. Although she says he never forced science on her, she couldn’t help getting bit by the bug.

“When he was working on his doctorate at Auburn University, I would be in the lab with him and watch the NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) and things like that. That was always fascinating.”

Meldra says having her dad as a professor on campus is reassuring – usually.

“Studying the sciences is very, very difficult, but when you have someone who has been there, been able to overcome all the obstacles and be successful, it’s very inspiring.”

But it can be awkward at times, too.

“Sometimes other students will be complaining about their professors and someone will mention my dad. Most of the time they know I’m his daughter so they won’t say what they really want to,” she says with a ringing laugh. “I usually withdraw from the conversation because – well, he’s my dad!”

Meldra says her dream job is to become a cardiovascular surgeon.

“I would like to stay in the South for medical school, but not in Georgia. I’d have a practice, and I’d like to retire and teach. I love to travel and see other places, but I’d always come back to Georgia. There’s no place like home.”

Friends for the Journey

LaGrange College attracts the best and the brightest from all over the world. For example, our most recent incoming class consisted of men and women from 19 states and 10 countries, and included:

  • 76 members of Beta Club or the National Honor Society
  • 71 members of service organizations
  • 51 team captains in varsity sports
  • 25 leaders involved in student government, with 11 presidents
  • Three students involved in school publications, one as editor
  • Two Eagle Scouts
  • 20 musicians in band or orchestra
  • 18 singers in choir
  • 31 entertainers in performing arts
  • 85 students in religious activities.

But you don’t have to be a star in high school to succeed at LaGrange. Here, you’re given the opportunity to discover the best in yourself and find your destiny – all in a caring and supportive environment.