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18 COMMUNIQU SUMMER 2015 Ju Ju Se Se OJoyce deJong with WMich rst-year medical student Eric Edewaard. ALUMNI by Laura Probyn Joyce deJong has fond memories of several instructors during her pre-clerkship years in MSUCOM and now she nds herself in the role of lecturer as the rst chair of the pathology department with the new Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine also called WMich. Though shes handling Ofce of the Medical Examiner duties for multiple counties and departmental administrative duties deJong also spends some time in the classroom. Id done a little bit of lecturing Ill be doing morenot a ton but a fair amount she says. I enjoy it. The students have been very positive. When the reviews are positive and they enjoy having you as an instructor it motivates you to do more. A 1988 MSUCOM graduate deJong especially remembers her own pathology lectures from Shirley Siew. If youve gone through MSUCOM for the majority of the years that institution has been open you think about Dr. Siew she says. She had a different teaching style and it resonates with me I also want students to have a memorable and positive experience. While she may not copy Dr. Siews style she does hope to leave an impression with her students. How we are teaching pathology is quite different today but I hope these students will look back and remember their pathology professors fondly. More importantly I hope they remember what we taught them. Originally from Byron Center Michigan deJong came to MSUCOM after nishing an undergraduate degree at Grand Valley State University. She completed a residency with MSU in Grand Rapids in anatomic pathology and a fellowship at Atlantas Emory University in forensic pathology. She returned to Michigan to serve as Sparrow Hospitals medical director for forensic pathology and as the medical examiner for Kalamazoo Ingham Muskegon Allegan and Livingston counties and deputy medical examiner of Barry Eaton Montcalm and Shiawassee counties. She had been at Sparrow for 15 years and was very contented with her work when she got an unexpected telephone call. I got a call from Dean Jenson who said they were building the medical school and wanted pathologists in the building. It was a once- in-a-lifetime opportunity to come and start a new pathology department in a new medical school deJong says. She moved to Kalamazoo and prepared for the rst class which came through the doors in August 2014. The transition meant more than setting up an ofce in a new academic role. As the medical examiner for 12 counties in what was becoming an increasingly crowded space she also moved part of that ofce to Kalamazoo where she now serves as ME for Muskegon Allegan Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties from the seventh oor of the WMich building. Though it is rare deJong says it is not unheard of to house medical examiners within medical schools. She points to similar arrangements at North Dakota and the University of New Mexico. She sees pathology as a bridge between basic and clinical sciences and believes thats an advantage to housing the MEs ofce and morgue within the medical school allowing faculty to work and teach. Its been a great experience and great for the medical students they have come through with an introduction to clinical services and some have already done one-week electives. The 54 students study and attend classes in the seven-story building that was donated by the Upjohn family and is located near Kalamazoos Bronson Hospital. In addition to a literally shiny refurbished building deJong and the WMich pathology departments ve faculty members two forensic anthropologists and three pathologists with a fourth joining the department soon are also working with a shiny new curriculum. Its an effort that has its benets and drawbacks. Its a brand new medical school we cant fall back on Lets do what we did last year she notes. I tell my faculty that we have this big blank slate we get to write on and we have this big blank slate we have to write on. Lots of effort has been put into the curriculum in our department and one of our faculty members is now the chair of the colleges curriculum committee. deJong is one of few D.O.s in the area and the only one in her building. Shes proud of her alma mater and her profession and will carry what she learned at MSUCOM as shes helping educate a new generation of physicians. I feel an obligation to the profession she says. Im condent and comfortable. I was very well prepared. REMEMBERING THE PAST RELISHING THE FUTURE Joyce deJong ENJOYS CHALLENGES AT NEW MEDICAL SCHOOL