Amanda Manly, M.D., who earned her medical degree from the Wayne State University School of Medicine on June 8, was working in neuroscience research when she decided to switch gears and go to medical school. She had already earned her master’s degree at WSU and loved the Detroit community.
“I knew that Wayne State was the medical school I wanted to attend and Detroit was the city I wanted to train in and serve,” she said.
Working and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic confirmed why she wanted to be a doctor.
“It is easy to lose sight of why we came to medical school at times, but the pandemic reminded me that being a physician isn’t about memorizing tables and facts or trying to impress my colleagues and seniors with how well I can present a patient,” she said. “Rather, I wanted to become a physician to serve others and walk with them through some of their most vulnerable and difficult times. COVID-19 reminded me of what a privilege this is, as there were often instances where our patients’ own family members were not able to physically be with them in the hospital during such times, but I was.”
She is also grateful to have been part of the student organization Street Medicine Detroit in her time at WSU.
“The incredible experiences I’ve had and lessons I’ve learned through serving with SMD are countless. The people experiencing homelessness in our city are so resilient and I have learned so much about life from them,” she said. “One of my favorite memories will always be the time we went on a street run and encountered a man who was very confused, in rough shape and seemed to be homeless. After chatting with him a bit, he mentioned something about trying to get back home and ultimately gave us an address. We weren’t entirely confident about the story he was giving us since there were a lot of inconsistent details, but we took a chance and drove him to an address 20 minutes away in the west side of Detroit. It turned out that he actually had dementia and was living with his two sons at this address. His sons were in tears when we showed up with him and explained to us that he had gone missing a few days prior and they had a missing person report filed for him. All of us were amazed. I still think about what that man’s fate might have been if we hadn’t stopped and spent time speaking with him. It was clear that everyone who encountered him assumed he was homeless and we almost made the same mistake. It’s a great reminder how valuable it is to take time to try to really get to know a person. They’re almost never what you initially assume.”
Dr. Manly will begin a Family Medicine residency at Garden City Hospital in Michigan in July.