Jonathan Smith, Class of 2015
Describe your best clinical experience and why it was memorable. One of my best clinical experiences was having the opportunity to shadow a general Surgeon at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. I have always wanted to observe a surgery from within an OR and I was able to in this instance. This experience also gave me insight into how clinical rotations were going to be in my third year of medical school.
Who at WesternU has made you feel supported and how? There are a number of staff members that have made me feel supported at WesternU. The most notable have been Dr. Marian Safoui, Dr. Beverly Guidry, and also the entire MSMS staff. There have been a number of instances where they have taken time out of their busy schedules to ensure that I am successful in all of my current endeavors ranging from the academic curriculum to extracurricular activities. Their willingness to lend a helping hand and interest in my overall wellbeing have been unparalleled.
How has your involvement in student clubs impacted you and/or the community you serve? My involvement in student clubs has been paramount part of my medical education. I have found that the student clubs I am in, for instance Asian American Health Professional Student Association (the local chapter of APAMSA), Lambda and Friends, and American Medical Women’s Association, have all brought me better understandings on how I can specifically serve the needs of these communities. The reminders these groups give me, whether through a lunch lecture or volunteer clinic, help me to continue my drive and dedication to work and study hard on my core curriculum.
How have you seen the university’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family? The University’s humanistic philosophy is really everywhere in the curriculum and extra-curriculum. With course like Inter-professional Education and clubs that spans across colleges, there is a strong sense of team work on this campus to really help take care of the whole patient.
Michael Sheinin, B.A., M.S.
Describe an engaging aspect of your program and why you like it: Until a couple years ago, I didn’t know what Osteopathic medicine was. After a little bit of research, shadowing a couple DO’s, and even finding family friends who are practicing DO’s, I quickly realized that they were among the leading healthcare providers and practicing physicians in the United States. While I thought that there wasn’t much else to know, once I started at WesternU, my understanding of osteopathic medicine has grown and continues to grow immensely. Having prior graduate school experience, I came in ready and willing to face what is considered to be, “the most difficult career path” in our society. From the first day, I was engaged not only in mutliple hours of medical gross anatomy in the classroom and lab, but also in hands-on experience in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM). We began palpating each other on the very first day! Now coming home and being able to feel for my family and friend’s spinous and transverse processes of the spine, diagnose restriction in motion, and even treat with multiple techniques, is not only exciting, but I can actually alleviate some of their pain.
Kenneth Terry B.S.
Describe an engaging aspect of your program and why you like it. I really like the standardized patient encounters in Essentials of Clinical Medicine! (ECM I) The standardized patients are awesome, and the experience “feels real” from the first encounter! I derive a great deal of satisfaction in seeing how my performance is improving as time goes on. The feedback from the standardized patients is invaluable!
How have you seen the university’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family? When I had a family emergency, Dr. Emmert and her staff were extremely helpful. I felt that they were concerned about me as a person, not just as a student! Their support during a very stressful time made all of the difference in the world to me. To me, their actions spoke louder in support of Western University’s humanistic philosophy than mere words ever could!
Susan Mackintosh, DO, MPH
Unique aspect of the DO program: The ECM course combines a multitude of different areas that will affect the future physician in his or her lifetime career. We teach everything from communicating with patients and taking a history and physical, to developing a diagnosis and plan, to the business of medicine, and even topics such as disaster response.
Beyond the classroom: I am personally involved in the Christian Medical Society and the Dance Club, but I deal with many of the clubs by participating in their activities such as health fairs and other community outreach project. Additionally, since many of our clubs are service oriented, many of the community based projects in the Service Learning Course are under the umbrella of the different clubs, so I work with those clubs as part of Service Learning.
On interprofessional education: I firmly believe IPE is very important. In this day and age of medicine, there are a wealth of resources available to your patient, and it is important to understand not only what those resources are (including the many health care professions), but it is critical to understand the scope of practice of those professions. It is also imperative that the future healthcare professional knows what role each of the professions will play to maximize the team based approach to patient centered care.
Rajivinder Brar DO, PhD
Value of a WesternU education: I think one of the most valuable parts of a WesternU education is the commitment to life long learning and the exposure that students will get to other health related fields.
On interprofessional education: IPE curriculum at WesternU will be valuable for students after they graduate as they will be familiar of the roles that other health professional play which ultimately will improve patient care.
I personally chose to teach at WesternU because of its strong dedication to student needs and faculty development.
Anna Yeung, DO
WesternU distinctive: Enhancement of the geriatric curriculum is currently underway. This will provide a unique opportunity for students to participate in the expansion of medical student exposure to senior care. The college fosters innovative development of curricula which is both relevant and practical for its students in their future careers.
Why WesternU: As a graduate health sciences academic institution, WesternU provides a unique opportunity for both faculty and students from varying healthcare disciplines to learn about and from each other. Provision of optimal healthcare requires a multifaceted team approach which underlies the core of how this university operates.
Most valuable aspect of a WesternU education: Integration. With each new college, WesternU is committed to providing an integrated education in which students are exposed to one another to foster a deeper understanding of the resources each discipline has to offer on the healthcare team. Within each college, students are encouraged to learn how to learn; the goal is to graduate a proactive self-motivated lifelong learner.
Raj Kandpal, PhD
WesternU distinctive: A unique aspect of COMP is its size. In terms of student strength, COMP is comparable to any other medical school. However, we have the opportunity to interact with or know pretty much every student in the college. I don’t think that it happens or is possible in any other school.
I came to WesternU because of the vision: be it the expansion of its research program or the proposed opening of the newer colleges such College of Biomedical Education or the inter-professional education (IPE) curriculum.
Our students get a high quality education because students are our first priority and the members of our faculty are committed to mentor, motivate and challenge our students. Not only do our students get there first patient encounters (through standardized patient program) early on in their first year of the program, they also have an opportunity to participate in research directly relevant to the practice of medicine.
Research Interests: My laboratory is interested in the regulation of gene expression in human health and diseases. In particular we are taking advantage of gene profiling to describe molecular differences in normal and disease tissues. The following projects are being actively pursued.
Aberrant regulation of Eph receptors and their ephrin ligands in breast, prostate and ovarian carcinoma. We are taking advantage of epigenetic changes in invasive breast carcinoma cells to develop diagnostic markers and to identify targets for therapeutic intervention.
Transcript maps of human chromosomal regions harboring loci for genetic deafness and characterization of candidate gene expression in mouse inner ear.
In collaboration with the Neurobiology, Neurodegeneration and Repair Laboratory at National Eye Institute we are involved in defining the molecular changes associated with diabetic retinopathy.
Dat Trinh, DO, MS
WesternU distinctive: The Clinical Performance Evaluation is an examination involves taking histories and physical examinations. Each second medical student (OMSII), is required to pass before going on to the third year or taking the national board.
Best advice: You will grow as a person and a professional by being in the environment WesternU presents – of scholarship and diversity.
Alan Cundari, MS, DO
Value of a WesternU education: The opportunities of early involvement with patient interactions that will aid in the educational process that students are studying.
On Interprofessional education: I have been a strong advocate for interprofessional education since I came here. I have worked to include all programs in the various clinical outreach and community service projects I have been involved in to bridge the professions with which we are connected. Each program has unique characteristics and services that impact and assist the daily lives of the community and patients that we serve.
Courtney Beth Martin
Research experience: I was thrilled with the grant coordination and encouragement the school provided for students to do research projects. I started my own research on parental attitudes toward the HPV vaccination and have been supported endlessly by Dr. Mackintosh, Dr. Thrush, and Matt Katz.
Best advice: Don’t hesitate to apply and do everything you can to get in!
Time commitment: Most of the time classes are scheduled in a manner that allowed a lot of study and free time in the afternoons and evenings. What I choose to do with the time usually varied. I tried to balance my time between studying, working out or playing a sport, and social time.
WesternU distinctive: I enjoyed the Pilot Interprofessional Program since we were exposed to other health professions by working together on a case. We learned how each person approached the problem differently, discussed it, and came to mutual conclusions that we all felt good about.
Anna Ryabets-Lienhard, DO
Time commitment: My first two years were very intense in terms of study time, but I was still highly involved in extracurricular activities. It was very manageable, but I had to be very organized and not procrastinate.
Most memorable clinical experience: At CHLA I participated in a liver transplant surgery for a seven-month-old baby. I had to fly to Oakland, CA to harvest a liver and fly back to transplant it. It was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had.
William Fraser, DO
About me: I have been the director of an emergency medicine residency in central Ohio for 10 years. The WesternU graduates I have accepted into the program are easily in the top 20 percent of all other residents I have trained. From day one, WesternU grads seem better prepared for residency than those of most other schools. I rank WesternU in the top three or four osteopathic schools in the country.
The academic environment: I liked the small, family like campus. Even during the interview, I felt like WesternU was looking out for me. They seemed truly interested in making my academic career as stress-free as possible.
Best thing about WesternU: I was challenged to think for myself, rather than just regurgitate facts on an exam. This was especially helpful during clinical rotations.
Charles Maynard, DO
Best thing about WesternU: Getting early patient care responsibility.
Why WesternU: My family doctor and mentor, Dr. Travis Ferguson, suggested I apply. (Growing up with Dr. Ferguson a few doors away, I didn’t really understand what an MD was. I thought all doctors were DOs!)
Best advice: I meet prospective students all the time and recommend WesternU as an exceptional institution.