Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Department of Family Medicine

by Julia Buck

My third-year Family Medicine clerkship at Michigan State University provided a variety of clinical exposure.  The clinic I most enjoyed was an underserved, rural clinic where social complications are as prevalent as physical comorbidities.  I saw patients who prioritized their health maintenance by the ability to pay.  I sat with patients during consults with social workers to advocate for additional resources in complicated cases.  I guided patients through the diagnostic workup of potentially life-threatening diseases, providing reassurance and clinical support.  In caring for the underrepresented and underserved, I became passionately committed to serving and caring for the whole patient, and for the whole family.

As a future family physician, identifying gaps in preventative healthcare availability is of great importance to me.  I seek to develop a community education program focused on the importance of vaccination to personal and public health. Furthermore, I aim to uncover disparities in preventative screening and identify strategies for improving upon these inconsistencies.  With the MSU Integrated Medical School and Family Medicine Residency Program, I will work with state and local health departments to pinpoint these inequalities and provide more resources for the families in my clinical practice.  I will focus my research on the importance of health maintenance from early childhood and its role in establishing strong patient-physician relationships that last well into adulthood.  As a fourth-year medical student, my reach with this project is limited, but TIP will provide me the mentorship and skills necessary for successful community outreach throughout my career.  Through the Integrated Program, I will begin this work in the state I call home and immerse myself in the community I serve.

Over the last three years I have witnessed a transformation in myself – not only academically – but also spiritually.  I have helped deliver new life into this world and I have held the hand of those leaving it.  I have seen the value of service and care of patients.  I am proud to entrust my education and clinical training to the College of Human Medicine.  The Integrated Program will allow me to continue to grow personally and professionally under the guidance of Michigan State University.  As a future family physician, my dedication to my patients and to effective care is paramount.  The people of Michigan are the sincerest, most kind-hearted I know.  They are hard-working, appreciative, and trusting.  It would be the great privilege of my career to grow with and care for my fellow Michiganders.