Euan Forrest '23

Euan Forrest Reflects on Soccer Career, Prepares for Medical School

He graduates with a dual degree in economics and behavioral neuroscience.

Story by

Stephen Gross

Photography by

Christa Neu

The Lehigh men’s soccer team was facing Lafayette in the 2019 Patriot League Championship under the lights at the Ulrich Sports Complex. It was days before Rivalry Week in front of a record-setting crowd. And as time expired in a 1-0 Lehigh win, the fans came pouring onto the field to celebrate the title with the team.

For center back Euan Forrest ’23, who was in his first year, it’s a moment he’ll never forget, and one of his most memorable during his time at Lehigh.

“There were just so many different factors that made it this really momentous occasion,” Forrest says.

What made it even more special for Forrest was that his brother, Mark Forrest ’19, who was playing soccer professionally in Pittsburgh at the time, was in town for the weekend to witness it all and enjoy the moment with him. Mark, who also won a Patriot League title of his own at Lehigh and is second all-time in the Patriot League in career points scored, actually led the charge of fans onto the pitch.

“He just tackled me to the ground and was screaming his head off,” Forrest recalls. “It was really, really cool.”

Euan and Mark Forrest

Euan Forrest '23 with his brother Mark '19 after Lehigh the men's soccer team won the 2019 Patriot League Championship. (Photo courtesy of Euan Forrest)

During his four years on the men’s soccer team, Forrest, a dual major in economics and behavioral neuroscience, compiled numerous accolades, including being named to the Patriot League Academic All-League Team three straight years, becoming just the second player in program history to do so. Forrest earned a 4.0 GPA for all three selections. He was also a CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Academic All-District selection his junior and senior year, marking the first time a Lehigh men’s soccer player was named Academic All-District twice.

While Forrest’s fondest Lehigh memories came on the soccer field—scoring his first collegiate goal his junior year also ranks high on his list—he’s just as passionate about the work he has done off the field. And has earned just as many honors.

After presenting his healthcare economics research as part of the Eckardt Scholars Capstone presentations, Forrest was awarded the George B. Lemmon prize for outstanding work on the project. He also received the Student Senate Leadership Award for his contributions to Lehigh through academics, athletics and extracurriculars. Additionally, he received the Richard H. Johnson Prize from the Lehigh Business School as the most outstanding graduating economics major.

Medical school has always been Forrest’s goal after earning his undergraduate degree, he says, he just never was sure of an area of focus.

Euan Forrest playing soccer

Euan Forrest '23 won numerous accolades as a member of Lehigh's soccer team. (Lehigh Athletics)

“What I've found from different experiences over the past four years is that the more exposure I get to different fields of medicine, the more excited I get about that,” Forrest says. “I went through a couple of phases earlier this year where I was doing a shadowing rotation at St. Luke's … cycling through different specialties throughout the semester and … every single new thing I would see I was like, "Oh, I want to do this. This is so cool."

His experiences include more than 200 shadowing in hospitals ranging from neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to general oncology surgery at Reading Hospital Tower Health. And as part of a semester-long St. Luke's biomedical externship at Lehigh, he’s spent more than 60 hours just at St. Luke’s Hospital-Bethlehem Campus in general surgery, orthopedic surgery, internal medicine, emergency medicine and pediatrics.

“Having the exposure to medicine like that has just been paramount, not only in me getting experience in the field, but also confirming that this is what I wanted to do,” Forrest says.

He says a class he took in his final semester, virology with Lawrence Tartaglia, professor of practice, has been one of his favorites, but the externship is a close second. In addition to the observation component with the externship, the academic portion on campus includes weekly discussions, weekly essays about their experiences and a range of readings related to observations at the hospital.

“Being able to take this class at Lehigh and then come back and talk about it with my peers and professors, write papers on it, has just been unbelievably educational,” Forrest says. “Probably one of the most real-life, real-world application educational courses I've taken at Lehigh. And anytime I talk to a younger pre-med student, I always recommend that they apply for this class. The benefits that I've gotten from it are just unbelievable. I'm really, really fortunate to have had the opportunity to take it.”

To fulfill his dream of attending medical school, Forrest took the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in April and intends on applying this summer to matriculate in fall 2024.

While he waits for acceptance letters, starting in July, he’ll be working at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Washington, D.C., doing research in orthopedic surgery, and musculoskeletal and neuromuscular areas. He says he’ll work in the clinic with patients, record data, analyze his work and take on other projects as well.

Story by

Stephen Gross

Photography by

Christa Neu

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