Jordan R. Bilbrew, Class of 2021

Why WesternU? That’s easy. We all know that age old question “If you were stranded on a deserted island what would you bring?”. Well, medical school can kind of feel that way sometimes. However, WesternU has an amazing faculty that has a way of choosing students who can contribute to the overall sense community. Imagine having built-in academic, moral, and social support on this deserted island scenario. I know, what else could you really need? I personally felt a bit isolated moving here from the east coast, but quickly began to feel like part of the Western family. I’m not sure I could get that experience just anywhere.

My favorite course this year happens to also have been the hardest class for me: Molecular and Cellular Basis of Medicine (MCBM). This class really challenged me to dig deep and learn about myself. There was just so much content and I felt so overwhelmed, so I leaned on my faculty and student body. They gave me the support, resources, and courage to continue working towards my goals no matter how discouraged I feel. I’m so grateful.

Janyne Mallender, Class of 2020

Why WesternU? I feel incredibly fortunate to being giving the opportunity to study my passion for medicine at COMP-NW. From the day I interviewed here to studying countless hours at the school, the atmosphere of inclusion, enthusiasm and passion radiate through the halls. I can honestly say I wake up and I am excited for what the day is going to bring. Now don’t get me wrong though, medical school is INSANELY tough, but being surrounded by countless caring people who all want you to succeed makes this journey worth it. My typical day involves waking up by 6 am, hitting the gym, studying all morning, and watching lecture after lunch. I enjoy using the walking treadmills by the windows to try and stay active as well (because 8 hours of lectures can occasionally get boring). Once lecture is complete, I typically spend the rest of the night studying with friends.

Being selected as the East Linn Clinic Coordinator has been my favorite extracurricular activity about COMP-NW. This clinic is held on Tuesdays where patients lacking insurance can come receive free medical care from the COMP students. My role involves running the clinic and guiding my fellow classmates weekly to develop their clinical reasoning skills as we volunteer in the clinic. I help them prepare their oral presentations for the attending physicians and write their prescriptions/referrals. Getting the chance to attend clinic every Tuesday has built relationships with my classmates, attending physicians, and patients that has been an invaluable experience and has brought much insight into providing culturally sensitive care to our community. COMP-NW has allowed me to develop friendships with my future colleagues built on service, academic success and preservation of the osteopathic philosophy. I am confident being a student here has provided me with a unique set of tools to become exemplar osteopathic physician in the future. Choosing COMP-NW has been the best decision I’ve ever made!

Robyn Dreibelbis, DO

Vice Chair, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine

How do you think the interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum will enhance student’s professional lives? What we do every day in clinical practice is communicate with others: other physicians, pharmacists, lab techs, medical assistants, nurses, patients. IPE will give them a structured curriculum which will allow them the opportunity to practice this in a small group setting. That exposure and education will prove to be invaluable to them as they move into their rotations and eventually out into residency and their careers.

As well, it will be exciting to see how the three different institutions will work together for the benefit of the students. Represented in the IPE course will be a public state university (Oregon State University), a community college (Linn Benton Community College), and a private university (Western University of Health Sciences, COMP-Northwest). This is revelent to what they will be faced with in the real world once they are out of school.

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Janice Blumer, DO

Assistant Professor NMM/OMM

Tell us about an experience where you observed a student or fellow faculty member exemplify the humanistic philosophy of our university. COMP-NW is truly a wholistic/humanistic college, incorporating the osteopathic philosophy in everything it does and extending it into the community. We educate humanistic physicians thru our curriculum, community service and service learning. I am most impressed by the humanism Dean Crone expresses every time she steps in a room. She makes everyone she touches feel they are special and involves the community whenever she can.

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Brayden Healey, OMS-IV

Pre-Doctoral Teaching Fellow, NMM/OMM

When choosing a location to begin the extensive undertaking of medical education, I wanted to find a school where both my personal and professional priorities would be nurtured. What I found at COMP-Northwest was a family of students and faculty who are sincerely dedicated to ensuring that my professional goals in terms of leadership, research, teaching and OMM opportunities are encouraged and supported, allowing me thrive as a student and future physician. Faculty are always willing to put in the extra time to help teach, coordinate a research project or make an extracurricular activity become an educational reality. Additionally, at COMP-Northwest I found a philosophy and group of people who are incredibly supportive of my wife’s and my desire to grow a family. This was so impactful that we found growing our family by three kids in medical school a reasonable and enjoyable undertaking; the students and faculty at COMP-Northwest are largely to thank for this and I feel strongly that I would not have found this opportunity at many other institutions.

Meagan Smith, OMS IV

OMM/NMM Pre-Doctoral Teaching Fellow

Why WesternU?: I remember walking into my interview day at COMP-Northwest and feeling like I was at home. The faculty and staff were warm and welcoming. I was excited to be at a place where the majority of the faculty as well as the Dean of the medical school came to an interview day. Due to the anticipation of the level of difficulty associated with medical school, the warmth and family atmosphere was very important to me; I needed to know that I would be supported by faculty, staff, and my classmates throughout the process. I have not been disappointed in my choice.

OMM Fellowship: I was honored to be chosen as an OMM Fellow. I love teaching, and being able to teach other students has been wonderful. It also gives me an opportunity to reflect on osteopathic manipulative techniques and how I can continue to incorporate my passion into my future career. This additional year has also helped me to further understand the principles of osteopathic medicine and how these principles apply to all branches of medicine. I also have the opportunity to work with a supportive and knowledgeable department faculty, as well as other fellows. The small community found within the school has helped me further develop as a student and a future physician.

Maranda Herner, OMS IV

OMM/NMM Pre-Doctoral Teaching Fellow

Why WesternU? On my interview day, everyone was very friendly– seemed like a supportive community where students worked to help each other…. I still feel this way!

What the OMM Fellowship means? Over the course of 5 years, I had the opportunity to work with an amazing group of other fellows in a small team environment and with many inspiring faculty members. I have been able to teach OMM in lectures, small group discussions, and table-training settings, but also have been able to tutor many system classes and lead other educational initiatives. The extra time and many connections I developed during fellowship offered extra opportunities such as participation in research, curriculum building, and additional training. For me, this became a research project studying the effect of an osteopathic technique on student anxiety, assisting with a new ultrasound curriculum, and focusing on improving my own leadership skills. With many laughs and many lessons, fellowship has been such a great experience!