TORRINGTON--Jose Burgos may look like your average doctor-in-training, but he's so much more.
Burgos, who is a third-generation military veteran, is now in his first year as a med student at Quinnipiac University and interning at a pediatrician's office in Torrington.
Before joining the military, Burgos studied pre-med at Texas A&M. He then received a scholarship for medical school at the university, but one requirement was to serve in the Air Force after graduation. He wasn't sure about it, but eventually found peace with the decision. "It didn't make sense to me until I realized that the jet had a heart, it had lungs, it had a brain. It had muscles. Once I made the correlation, then it became very simple."
He ended up working in aircraft maintenance for the 336th Fighter Squadron in Afghanistan, and he completed a six-month deployment there in 2011.
After his deployment he developed several illnesses, which he thinks was due to the environment during his tour. "I had thyroid cancer, lung problems, liver proglems, a mass in my throat when I got back."
Burgos, who is from Newburgh, New York, chose to attend Quinnipiac because it was close to home, and because it had a new medicine program, which he was excited to be a part. He's not sure he wants to pursue pediatrics, but Burgos will use what he learned in the Air Force wherever he ends up.