Dan grew up along the banks of the Mississippi River in Western Illinois, making him another part of the Midwestern contingent of his residency class. He studied cell biology at the University of Illinois and after graduation stayed for an additional year doing research in an estrogen receptor lab before starting medical school at the University of Chicago. During medical school Dan worked on several projects, including a food pantry for the parents of hospitalized children and developing mobile app "games" to teach clinical scoring systems to medical students. After completing his 3rd year clerkships, he absconded to the mountains of El Salvador for 8 months in order to volunteer in a primary care clinic, practice Spanish, think about his life, and eat more delicious tortillas than typically considered advisable. A recent adopter of the Oxford comma, Dan chose Med-Peds at Jackson for its patients, its unbeatable array of pathology, the kindness and caliber of its residents, and the ability to comfortably ride his bike to work all year-round.