Known as “Mr. Reliable” both on and off the rink, Tom Fortney has earned the respect of his peers, coaches, and professors. In addition to being center forward for the UNH Men’s Hockey Team, Tom is a dual history and self-designed pre-med major. UNH does not have a specific pre-med major, but Tom worked with his advisor, Dr. Pollard, to come up with coursework that would help propel him towards medical school.
Tom is humble about his successes here at UNH. According to his coach, Dick Umile, Tom speaks with actions more than words. Tom is one of Umile’s strongest players, passionately dedicated to his performance on the ice. Recently, Tom was named as the winner of the “Nate Hardy Ironman” award for conditioning.
The balance of being a student on a highly competitive, well known NCAA Division 1 hockey team and a rigorous course load has been the everyday life of Tom Fortney. When asked how he does it, Tom explains that he simply buckles down and makes sacrifices when he needs to in order to do well in his classes. He advises students to find a structure that works well for them. He also stresses the importance of self-discipline in achieving goals.
Tom has certainly made a great story for himself here at UNH, off the ice and outside the classroom. Once a week, Tom participates in a mentoring program at the Newmarket Community Center with his teammates. He serves as a mentor to a ten year old boy. At the center, they talk, play games and spend time together. Next semester, he and his team hope to bring the kids to the Whittemore Center to watch a hockey game. Tom stated he truly enjoys giving back to the UNH and local community because of all the support he has felt while being here.
Another great opportunity Tom created for himself was landing an internship at a hospital in his hometown of St. Louis. At the hospital, Tom shadowed doctors and as a pre-op technician, helped prepare patients for surgery. When asked what he enjoyed the most about his internship, Tom recounted how rewarding it was to bring a sense of relief to people who were undergoing an extremely stressful time in life. One of Tom’s main inspirations to enter the medical field is the example his father set for him as an ER physician. His father has not only inspired him, but has encouraged him and lent him guidance.