Triplets attend same medical school parents attended, study with professor who delivered them as preemies

CHICAGO — In the simulation lab at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, three medical students practice their skills and make a pretty good team -- probably because they’re triplets.

“I bet if you asked any one of us in eighth grade what we wanted to be, we probably would have said doctors,” Martin Walsh tells WGN.

It’s what they knew – Kevin, Martin and Emily Walsh’s parents also went to medical school at Loyola.

“It’s pretty cool to think that, yeah, I started here and to think how they’re here as well and my parents did all their training here. A small, but to me, a pretty big factor was they would always come home with cards and presents from their patients. And then they’d slowly start to show us what these were, and they were cards of support and gratitude from their patients. Seeing those interactions really drew me and I think all of us in medicine to see how important being that doctor in somebody’s life meant,” Kevin said.

Kevin is the most experienced. He’s in his fourth year of medical school. Right behind him is Martin, a second year student.

“I really like the patient interactions. I work at a free clinic on the West Side of Chicago. At the heart of it, as my dad would always say, you’re confronting people at a real point of vulnerability, so it’s kind of nice when they come to you and you’re able to make their lives at least a little bit better,” Martin said.

Emily just joined her siblings at Loyola this year.

“I pretended to do other things for a little bit, but I think the goal was always medicine. I’m interested in oncology. I spent a year doing cancer research up in Montreal and really, really like it and would enjoy to spend the rest of my life working with that population,” Emily said.

Up in the NICU is another family connection. Dr. John Muraskas has cared for preemies for decades. And he was on-hand to help deliver the Walsh triplets 26 years ago.

Yes, they were even born at Loyola.

“Mom, dad and I met 40 years ago at Loyola starting med school, and then I was at the delivery of the triplets 26 years ago. And here they are 26 years old and looking great,” Muraskas said.

“I would feel pretty lucky to end up back here with all these people we’ve known our whole lives,” Martin said.

“I’d ultimately love to end up back here,” Emily said.

“I started here, and my family really started their professional careers here. It’s pretty great to call this place home,” Kevin said.

There’s a fourth Walsh sibling. Younger sister Claire wants to be a veterinarian, and she’s in the process of applying to veterinary programs right now.