"I moved to Ann Arbor at the age of 1, when my father decided to pursue his graduate studies at the University of Michigan in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Growing up, I was fortunate to experience the thrill of the student section at the Big House, and I continue to be a die-hard Michigan sports fan. After attending college, I returned to Ann Arbor to enroll in the MD/PhD program. During graduate school, I studied the immunobiology of graft-versus-host disease, a serious complication of bone marrow transplantation. Words cannot fully capture how grateful I am to the entire Michigan community for launching me toward my goal of becoming a physician-scientist in the field of Hematology/Oncology. While I will be moving to Boston for my Internal Medicine residency, Ann Arbor will always be my home."
"My time in medical school here has been transformative. The University of Michigan Medical School is a place that encourages students to follow our passion, and provides the mentorship and leadership training to accomplish our goals. I have made lifelong friends in medical school, I got engaged and will be married after graduation, and I ran my first marathon in medical school. Michigan has prepared me well for residency and for an academic career. Most importantly, Michigan has taught me the importance of providing compassionate patient care, while continuously striving to improve the lives of individuals as well as populations."
"I'm a first-generation college student, growing up 3 miles away from a town of 300. My parents raised me on the same little farm that my dad was born and raised on. I ended up going to college without a clear path forward. I feel so lucky to have found my calling in medicine. The ability to engage critically with such interesting and high stakes problems is exhilarating. I don’t think there is a better place to do one’s medical school training than at Michigan. In talking to students at interviews across the country, the graded responsibility of clinical students at the University of Michigan really is pretty unique, and is what I feel prepared me better than anything else. I was also lucky enough to continue developing a biotechnology project along with a classmate in the Branches. The multifaceted combination of a balanced rigor to develop the clinical skills, as well as the supported freedom to explore interests like medical education, development of LLC’s and device development must be unique to Michigan. If I didn’t live it, I wouldn’t believe it was possible to have such a perfect medical education experience."
"In college, I fell in love with how basic science discoveries could translate into medical advancements. I pursued an MD/PhD at Michigan because Michigan had 'the trifecta': excellent research, fabulous clinical training, and, most importantly, amazing people. As part of my PhD work, I had the honor of helping to identify the genetic causes of rare and novel congenital syndromes in order to provide families with some much sought after answers. These experiences, combined with outstanding clinical mentorship from the Maternal Fetal Medicine and Genetics departments, led me to pursue a career in obstetrics and gynecology. I love supporting patients as they face complex, personal, and emotional situations and hope to use my research training to expand our understanding of the genetic and developmental underpinnings of fetal anomalies."
"Before medical school I lived several different lives: I worked as a wildlife technician in Yosemite National Park, taught biology and physical science in Malawi, Africa with the U.S. Peace corps from 2009-2011, and worked as a medical assistant in northern Idaho for two years. I chose UMMS not only because it’s a top tier medical school, but also for the unparalleled opportunities the Michigan community provides for its students. These experiences helped to solidify my interest in pursuing a career in emergency medicine with an emphasis in global health."
"After graduating with a degree in French Literature and Environmental Sciences, I exchanged my dreams of saving the planet with goals of improving access to medical care. I love the deep connections physicians share with patients. Michigan has exceptional opportunities for students in service, research, and professional skills, and has truly been a perfect fit for me."
"I began telling people I wanted to become a doctor after having a small procedure done by a very kind female doctor at the age of 3. I am particularly thankful for the formative time I spent with my mentors in the Ethics Path of Excellence, and working on plastic surgery research projects while at the University of Michigan. I will continue research in gender-affirming surgery that I began as a medical student, and I hope to perform these surgeries in the future."
"One of main reasons for being able to say without a doubt that my medical school experience has been wonderful is the support and mentorship at Michigan. The people here are outstanding on a personal and professional level. Also, the opportunities here are seemingly endless—whatever I’ve been interested in, I’ve found connections and support to explore and pursue it, whether it’s been a desire to research patterns in utilization of contraceptive services, create patient education videos about pregnancy, or gain inspiration and experience in narrative medicine. I’m thrilled to continue my training here to become an ob/gyn. The field drew me in for many reasons, but especially for the privilege to be present for and support patients in some of their most meaningful and vulnerable times, which was one of the parts of being a physician that drew me to medicine."
"I applied to medical school hoping to heed my father’s advice to do something where I could leave work each day knowing I helped someone. I chose to apply to U-M on a whim, thinking it so unlikely that this institution would want a city kid like me who had never stepped foot in the Midwest before. I owe a great debt to U-M’s admissions committee, as Michigan’s culture of camaraderie, leadership and excellence has prepared me both for residency, but perhaps even more importantly, to be a better man. From my Family-Centered Experience group, to my pediatrics outpatient clinic, to my cardiology rotation and my sub-internships, I learned that caring for your patient requires a deep connection to them and their family. I aspire to bring these mentors’ care and healing touch with me as I start my residency this June."
"At Michigan Medical School, I was able to pursue my passions of global and women’s health, medical innovation, service to the underserved, and social justice. The most meaningful moments I have experienced as a student have been through the relationships I’ve developed with inspiring colleagues, patients, and faculty. I never thought I would meet such an incredible group of classmates, who will be lifelong friends. They will make me a better physician and will continue to have a positive and significant impact throughout the community and world. Throughout medical school, whether the setting was clinical, classroom, or social I tried to never lose sight of the importance of relationships and interpersonal bonds. This was a huge part of what drew me to medicine, and what kept me sane and grounded during medical school."
"Being able to combine a love for science with a passion for understanding and impacting the lives of others made pursuing a career in medicine fit perfectly. Attending the University of Michigan Medical School was one of the best decisions I have made in making this dream a reality. The abundance of excellent mentorship, research opportunities and leadership development are unparalleled at Michigan and are already helping to launch me toward my aspirations of becoming a leader in Academic Surgery. The clinical and medical knowledge I have acquired from the University of Michigan have been outstanding. However, even more impressive are the lessons I have learned in compassionately connecting, collaborating with and leading my patients and colleagues. I am honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to train at such a phenomenal institution – one that has truly helped me to be the best version of myself."
"On arrival in Ann Arbor for my interview day I felt internal joy, as I could envision no other place that would allow me to accomplish my many dreams. Once I was accepted, I was so proud to state that Michigan would be my new home. Michigan has truly lived up to all my expectations. It has wonderful mentors that supported me with pursuing my future career in the field of radiology. I was able to provide a loving home to my dogs, share local adventures with new friends, met my husband and had my first child!"
"My realization that I wanted to become a physician was a gradual process. I always enjoyed learning about science, particularly biology and chemistry, and found its application to the field of medicine fascinating. Once I decided to pursue medicine, attending the University of Michigan was always my dream, and I’ve been extremely happy with my education here. I have had fantastic mentors, made great friends, and had the opportunity to be around and learn from extremely talented individuals. For me, being in this environment is what has motivated and allowed me to be successful!"
"When I was almost four years old, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I was treated here at the University of Michigan by the late Dr. Larry Boxer and, (then fellow) Dr. Valerie Castle Opipari. Growing up in the hospital gave me an interest in medicine from an early age, and it was the mentorship I received from my former physicians and other UofM faculty like Dr. Matt Davis that set me on the path to finding a way to blend my interests in policy with the practice of medicine. Although I loved the work I was doing in Detroit as a public health advisor (both prior to, and during my first two years of medical school), it also highlighted the untapped potential for physicians to shape public policies that can prevent significant morbidity and mortality. As I sat in meetings about EMS response time, housing safety, violent crime patterns, and spikes of asthma exacerbations caused by factory emissions, I thought about the tremendous impact that an Emergency Medicine physician could have on the decisions being made."
"I am becoming a doctor because I want to be of use in the world. I want a career that affords me the privilege of deeply personal connections with people, and whose success at taking care of others is dependent upon a dedication to lifelong learning. Michigan has provided me a space to grow professionally and personally, to encounter like-minded students and faculty who share a commitment to social justice and health equity. I was fortunate to have a leadership role in the University of Michigan Asylum Collaborative, where I assisted physicians in forensic examinations of asylum seekers, corroborating their applications for asylum in the US. Michigan has also supported my interests in rural medicine and providing high-quality health care in low-resource settings."
"I wanted to serve people, and I felt like medicine was the best way for me to do that and have the opportunity to partner with them in a very intense, interpersonal way. There is literally nothing that UM hasn't grown or expanded for me: my mentors, research opportunities, the community I have. Without those connections, I would not have had women in dermatology who looked like me who were Michigan alumni of the derm residency program to have my back while I applied and took on research projects under their leadership. I'm so thankful for their support. My love for this field started as a little girl - I spent a lot of time in my mom's salon and she's always prioritized the health of her client's hair and keeping their scalp healthy as well. My career goal is to serve patients with skin of color who are disproportionately affected by hair disorders, especially patients of African descent with central cicatricial centrifugal alopecia or CCCA. I would love to work in a derm-underserved community in the future, and also be a mentor to other medical students and residents with similar goals."
"My drive to become a doctor was greatly influenced by my Armenian heritage. Growing up, I was always told about what my great-grandparents and the Armenian people endured during the Armenian Genocide, and I believe that this strongly developed my sensitivity toward human suffering as well as my desire to relieve it. As I advanced through medical school at the University of Michigan, I realized that it was in working to relieve the mental and emotional suffering of patients that I found the most meaning and fulfillment in my work, leading me to pursue a career in the field of psychiatry."
"I chose to become a doctor for several important reasons. I wanted to serve my community in a meaningful way, and I wanted a career in which I could utilize innovation and creativity everyday. My older brother, an emergency physician, was a strong mentor and helped me to realize that medicine could help me achieve these goals. The University of Michigan Medical School has provided an open and diverse platform for the discussion of a variety of ideas. As an institution, it values and promotes the concept of social justice in a very real way, from hosting formal symposiums to building in ethics in small group discussions in class. Michigan has provided me with a broad and well-rounded perspective of medicine and the drive to be thoughtful about my profession and more compassionate to my future patients."
Tim Hoffman, M3
"Since the summer before my first year of college, I have been involved in a camp for ventilator-dependent children through Mott hospital, Trail’s Edge Camp. This camp allows children with significant medical complexities participate in a safe and fun summer camp every June, complete with a full medical staff. Now pursuing my medical degree here at UMMS, I have been able to take an increased role with the camp, serving on the fundraising and planning committees for the camp in addition to my role at camp every June. On the wards, I now work alongside the doctors, nurses, and RTs I have worked with for many years at camp. Michigan has allowed me to continue to be inspired by my passions while also supporting my academic growth and understanding of the pathophysiology behind our campers’ conditions. I will forever be grateful to this place that supports our patients in so many different ways and that allows us as students to participate and grow through our involvement in our patients’ lives."
Josh Kurtz, M2
"Prior to starting medical school in 2016, I worked as an instructional aide at the UM School of Nursing, an undergraduate science tutor, and a standardized patient at UMMS. As a med student, I have continued to pursue my interests in teaching through my roles as curriculum representative, Learning Environment Task Force member, and instructional aide for undergraduate anatomy, in addition to pursuing medical education research. I hope to stay in academia, focusing my time on clinic and teaching. I am extraordinarily grateful for the incredible mentorship and numerous opportunities to pursue my passion for teaching and education, and close friendships that UMMS has given me over the last two years."
Ayana Robinson, M2
"My passion for social justice started young, spurred by the experiences of my family and community. My mom is my oldest fan, cheering me on as I became the first in my family to graduate from college. My aim is to become an excellent primary care physician to the poor and disenfranchised, one engaged in medicine and health systems as an agent of change for the betterment of society."
Jennifer Sun, M3
"As one of the few MD/PhD students pursuing a PhD in a non-traditional field, Michigan Medicine has provided me with an incredibly supportive and enriching environment, where I have been able to receive high quality medical training while also exploring my interests in behavioral health and studying the interplay between the social sciences and medicine. Through opportunities in medical school such as editing a collection of medical student stories and directing a medical student dance showcase, I have seen the ways in which my passions outside of medicine can inform my practice, and I have come to appreciate medicine as not only a science but an art. Over the past 6 years, I have thrived both personally and professionally, thanks to mentors who have been genuinely invested in my learning and friends who have supported me in times of insecurity and self-doubt. By the time I graduate, I will have spent more than 10 years at Michigan. Although I do not yet know where I’ll go next, what I do know is that Michigan will always feel like home."