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6 COMMUNIQU FALL 2015 CLASS of 2019 Student SPOTLIGHT Every MSUCOM student has a remarkable story about his or her journey to medical school. Here are three examples from the Class of 2019. Jason Unold donned Spartys costume and attitude as he led the MSU football team onto the eld prior to kickoff. by Laura Probyn and Pat Grauer STUDENTS East Lansing FINDING HIS WAY FROM SPARTY to medical school Detroit FINDING THE BEST MEDICINE through the risk of empathy Jason Unold As an MSU undergraduate Jason Unold was one of the most popular guys on campus. He was mobbed by admirers in public appearances and asked to pose for dozens of photos before any basketball game he attended at the Breslin Center yet no one knew his name or his face. He was Sparty. Unold who earned a bachelors degree in physiology is a rst-year MSUCOM student and was one of the volunteers who donned the green skirt to do everything from energize crowds at sporting events to bring smiles to alumni at tailgate parties and golf outings. Having been Sparty was a life-changing experience for me he said. I learned how to interact with people in just about any situation. Having the opportunity to run out to a stadium of 75000 screaming fans and stab a ag at center eld is an experience like nothing else. Unold says that the majority of his appearances were much lower key and they were the most meaningful. Of all the events I did the ones like the hospital visits were the most rewarding he noted After these events parents often told me how they hadnt seen their child smile like that in a long time. It was experiences like this that taught me to see this program as something bigger than myself and to continually strive to make a positive impact on whatever it is I may be a part of in the future. Unold was born in Michigan but grew up in Maple Grove Minnesota. His interest in medicine began in high school when a visit to the doctor after a sports injury became a career-dening event. I can still vividly remember my doctor explaining my injury to me. I was compelled to ask questions which prompted the doctor to move from a basic explanation of my injury to a 30-minute talk complete with anatomy models about the physiology and anatomy of the knee and my individual injury. For me being a D.O. means not only improving a patients life state but also striving to improve the patients lifestyle. Kristine Beard Social work is a discipline that has dened Kristine Beards entire adult life and her aspirations as a physician informing the kind of doctor she wants to be. Social work is very similar to osteopathic medicine because it requires a holistic understanding of each individuals personal experience and the psychosocial inuences that impact their health she said. Its important not only to understand the medical diagnosis but how different facets of a patients life are interrelated to their health family job transportation support system personal psychology health literacy insurance and so forth. Kristines journey began with a psychology major at Eastern Michigan University and work as an undergraduate supervising a staff of more than 30 people at a 15-bed residential unit for people with closed head injuries. She completed her M.S.W. at the University of Michigan and an internship at its psychological clinic worked for a year at Livonia Counseling eight years as a psychiatric social worker at Allegiance Health System in Jackson and seven years as a psychiatry-social work consultation liaison at the University of Michigan Health System. In 2011 she received the Beverly Jean Howard Award for Excellence in Social Work at UM. Kristine was often called upon to advocate for and translate among patients their families and their health professionals. For example she said some patients on mechanical ventilation struggle with extreme anxiety. Occasionally staff would change ventilator settings without informing the patients or their families. For most this wasnt an issue but for some patients it would cause extreme stress because their efforts to breathe had changed without apparent reason. Part of my job was to understand the patients experience explain the medical process to patients and families and describe the patients perceptions to the team. The best doctors she said are those who are not only competent