Graduated bottom of his class UCSF School of Medicine, Dr. Shulk is not incompetent, but he does buckle under stress. Kind of ironic considering he decided to specialize as a cardiovascular surgeon. He's been at the same hospital, in essentially the same position for 10 years at this point. He's never married, has no kids, lives alone in a studio apartment. Depression was really starting to kick in with work stress compounding, and very little social life Dr. Shulk nearly had a breakdown.
He took off all the time he could for work, and decided to spend a week or two in Takistan, and Chernarus. He wanted to connect with people and see some sights in a growing metropolis. He arrived in Chernarus before the outbreak via a combination of train and car, his vacation was unfortunately timed however, as a week into his Chernarus visit the Russian dispute happened. Everything was happening so fast, and he had almost no way to get out of the country, so he hid for some time. Trying to think of ways to leave the country while scavenging for the bare minimum supplies in the forests of Chernarus.