May 18, 1999
Volume 51, No. 31
Kessler slam-dunks his way through med school
Graduation day wasn't the first time Alec Kessler stood out among his School of Medicine classmates.
At 6' 10'', he's towered above all his peers for the past four years. And with a nearly perfect grade point average (3.97), he graduated head and shoulders above most of his class. He's also the only Emory med student who can claim his picture has graced basketball trading cards.
Kessler was accepted into the school in 1990 while still an undergraduate at the University of Georgia but deferred his entrance. Within months of graduation he signed a contract to play for the National Basketball Association's Miami Heat.
"Basketball was at the time my main career goal, and my career was certainly shorter than I or the people who drafted and paid me had planned," Kessler said. "As my basketball career progressed I knew that it was not the right life for me. At this point in my medical training I am very pleased with that choice and feel my intuition at the end of my basketball career was correct."
Kessler, who graduated magna cum laude with a degree in microbiology from UGA, continued his stellar academic work at Emory. He maintained a perfect GPA for three of his four years in med school and received numerous scholarships and awards. He will begin a residency in orthopaedic surgery this summer at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C.