Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Department of Family Medicine

by Shelby Walker, MS4

As long as I can remember, I have wanted to become a physician.  I knew that the specialty I chose needed to focus on continuity of care for patients, it needed to have a base in preventative medicine, and it had to be needed and important within a small, rural community.  It did not take me long to realize the specialty I was looking for was family medicine.  Family medicine has everything I was looking for in a future career and more while also being vitally important to current and future structures of the health care system within this country.  Having grown up in a small rural community where family physicians are the main healthcare providers, I was able to see the impact and important role these individuals have in maintaining individual and community health while also playing an integral role within the community itself.  I also realized that where I want to practice is within a small community like the one I grew up in, somewhere I can make a difference and help improve the lives of my fellow community members.

I’ve always known that I wanted to stay in Michigan, if at all possible, for my medical training, and after being accepted to Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, that dream came true.  Remaining in Michigan for residency would continue my dream.  I first learned of The Integrated Medical School and Family Residency Program early in my first year of medical school and I quickly realized that this program would be a great fit for me, helping in the pursuit of my dream of becoming a family medicine physician while remaining in my home state of Michigan.

The Integrated Medical School and Family Residency Program is a great fit for me for a multitude of reasons, most importantly, this program is for the specialty I am completely committed to.  Additionally, several of the locations that this program is offered in, are residency programs that I was already planning on applying to.  Continuity of care is something that is of utmost importance to me for my future practice and I believe that the additional experience of beginning the continuity clinic will contribute to furthering my medical school education while also better preparing me for residency itself.  In addition to this, I believe that the opportunity to get to know and collaborate with residents and faculty within the program will create a smooth transition from medical school to residency that will allow me to be more comfortable and prepared for the next three years of training.

In conclusion, this program would give me the opportunity to show my commitment to family medicine as my specialty and to provide high quality primary care in my home state. I know family medicine is what I am meant to do and Michigan is where I wish to do it.  Being secure and set for residency would be a great way to begin my final year of medical school and my future as a family medicine physician.