Alumni Profile

Brian Burke

Brian Burke

Class of 2007

Majors: Biology and Theology

In the jungles of South America, Brian Burke ’07 found his calling.

“I wasn’t sure I wanted to pursue medicine,” he recalls, “until I went to Ecuador.” As a freshman, Brian spent his first spring break on a medical mission trip with the University. After a week of tending to the sick and wounded poor, he came home determined to become a doctor.

Double majoring in theology and biology, Brian studied sacraments and mitosis with equal passion, recognizing that both held deep supernatural truths about God’s design.

After graduating, he worked as a research assistant at Magee-Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, looking for ways to prevent preeclampsia and disease in pregnant women.

In 2008, Brian began medical school at the University of Toledo, where he passed all of his first-year courses with honors.

“The 400-level courses at Franciscan are equivalent to medical school classes,” Brian says. “It made the year a lot easier for me.”

In the classroom, Brian uses his theology degree as much as his biology degree. When ethical discussions about contraception or abortion arise, Brian advocates the Church’s teaching. (He and his wife, Johanna (McKeegan ’07), recently became certified instructors in Natural Family Planning.)

For Brian, being a doctor means caring for patients both physically and spiritually.

“My relationship with Christ has a great impact on the way I encounter patients.”

In 2009, Brian was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy, where he will serve as a physician after completing medical school.

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