April 25, 2018

Regina Royan: Standing up

A culmination of life experiences leads to a specialty that feels right


The University of Michigan Medical School Class of 2018 includes 165 students who will soon be known as doctors. Every year, a small group of students is recognized at a special Graduation Awards Luncheon. This year, M4 Regina Royan is one of them and will receive the Puneet "Ashu" Ailawadi Memorial Award, which is presented to a graduating student who has demonstrated a commitment to serving underprivileged and underserved populations. 

Here, she answers a few questions about the experiences that led her to medical school and her future plans as a physician.

Why did you want to become a doctor?

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 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.

Why did you choose the field of Emergency Medicine?

Although I loved the work I was doing in Detroit as a public health adviser (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 proud to say that I’ve matched in Emergency Medicine at the University of Chicago and hope to focus my career on the social determinants of health, violence prevention, and the health of underserved populations. I was also fortunate enough to successfully couples match with my fiancé, Brian Stamm, who will be training in Neurology at Northwestern.

What other experiences at Michigan have shaped your time here?

I had the pleasure of serving as Student Council President this past year and have found the opportunities to engage in the transformation of the medical school curriculum and the ability to advocate for my classmates to be incredibly rewarding.