December 8, 2022

Army awards School of Medicine for work supporting medical students and military medicine efforts

At the Class of 2022 Commencement in June, M.D. graduate and U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Collin Bennett M.D. '22, flanked by his parents, is promoted to his current rank by Arthur Eisenbrey, M.D. '86, Ph.D. '80 as Christopher Steffes, M.D., Res. '93, looks on.

The Wayne State University School of Medicine Office of Student Affairs was honored by the Dearborn (Michigan) Army Medical Recruiting Station in recognition of the school’s support of medical students who have served, or are serving, in the military.

The station recruits medical professionals in southeastern Michigan and northwestern Ohio to serve in the United States Army or Army Reserves.

Office of Student Affairs Program Specialist Tracey Eady received the Army station’s first Center of Influence Appreciation Award on behalf of the Office of Student Affairs during a luncheon held at the station in Dearborn on Nov. 1. The station is part of the United States Army’s Columbus Medical Recruiting Company; 3rd Medical Recruiting Battalion.

“WSU was selected as a recipient because the staff has been a tremendous asset with allowing our recruiters to share the Army’s medical program information with Wayne State University pre-health and medical students, including Healthcare Professional Scholarship Program information, bonus and incentives, and much more. With the partnership, there have been recipients from WSU’s pre-health and medical school programs who have been selected to receive the HPSP scholarship,” said U.S. Army Capt. Diann Johnson. “The staff and students are welcoming, show willingness to help, and are open to community partnership.”

HPSP covers civilian medical school tuition, fees, provides a monthly living stipend and includes a signing bonus under certain conditions. The scholarship is offered by the Army, Navy and Air Force.

“I think receiving this award on behalf of Student Affairs is befitting as we work hard to support our students from the start, with orientation, the Clinician Ceremony and Match Day, and we have the military commissioning as part of our commencement ceremony,” Eady said.  “We are here to serve physicians-in-training. It is an honor to have received recognition from outside of the School of Medicine.”

The Wayne State University School of Medicine's Tracey Eady, left, Dr. Kevin Sprague and Dr. Margit Chadwell visited and toured the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, in early 2020.

The award is the second the military branch has given to medical school staff to honor the support the school provides medical students in the military. Eady, along with Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development Margit Chadwell, M.D., and Associate Dean of Admissions Kevin Sprague, M.D., traveled Feb. 10-12, 2020, to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, to accept the U.S. Army Physician Educator Recognition Award. The visit included a tour of Fort Sam Houston’s medical facilities and the Center for the Intrepid, where severe burn victims and multi-amputees are treated and undergo intensive rehabilitation.

In addition to supporting members of the military, the School of Medicine also offers a Military Elective Course as part of its academic curriculum. The course develops critical thinking in decision-making processes that incorporate medical decisions within both a battlefield scenario as well as in a hospital setting. The course emphasizes how an officer fits within the Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety, or TeamSTEPPS, concept of medical management, which enforces medical excellence and team building within a hospital. The U.S. Department of Defense Patient Safety Program developed the TeamSTEPPS program in collaboration with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in 2006.

The Military Medicine Interest Group is a student organization at the School of Medicine open to all students and advised by Associate Professor of Pathology Arthur Eisenbrey, M.D., ’86, Ph.D. ’80, a retired colonel of the U.S. Air Force and Michigan Air National Guard reserves.

The school also provides dedicated time in the fourth year of medical school for students to complete officer training with their respective military branch. The Office of Student Affairs also distributes honor cords to military students who served to wear with their graduation regalia.

“As a veteran himself, Associate Dean of Clinical Medical Education Christopher Steffes, M.D., has been instrumental in this effort and has worked in close coordination with our office, Enrollment Management, and our military fourth-year students to establish an elective for credit to be done during their fourth year covering their officer training courses,” Dr. Chadwell said. “This gives our military students needed flexibility in their M4 year to fulfill their officer training obligations. In essence, it is a type of leadership course. Our students are quite pleased with the opportunity. They still have plenty of time for their military hospital rotations that are usually also required.”

The approach, Dr. Chadwell explained, avoids interfering with curriculum and test preparation.

The Military Match for post-graduation residencies is held in December, three months before the match for the majority of specialties for the nation’s fourth-year medical students. Following completion of medical school, graduates are commissioned into active duty and complete residencies at military installations.

“Hopefully, we will be able to continue to grow our support of military scholarship students while they are at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. We had another successful military match again this year,” Dr. Chadwell said.

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