Aarti Patel is a medical student in the Wayne State University School of Medicine Class of 2025. Patel is enthusiastic about the advocacy opportunities being a medical student at WSU provides. She is Class of 2025 Student Senate president, vice president of Marketing for the Robert R. Frank Student-Run Free Clinic, Michigan State Medical Society medical student delegate to the American Medical Association, president of Medical Students for Choice, a Warrior M.D. Ambassador, and previously served as president of the AMA Chapter, now acting as an advisor.
Patel has had multiple policies accepted by the AMA. She participated in the Medical and Political Action in the Community elective, and hopes to inspire other students to get involved with advocacy as well.
Question: Why is advocacy important to you as a medical student?
Answer: Advocacy serves as an avenue to immerse myself in the forefront of health care and medicine, enabling me to learn how to actively drive change within my community. My vision is for my medical career to be a powerful manifestation of my activism.
I am deeply committed to addressing the social determinants of health that I see prevalent in the Detroit community and understanding the broader factors that impact people’s wellbeing and influence their health outcomes. Moreover, my passion extends to women's health and reproductive justice. I want to be a strong advocate for women, empowering them to make decisions that align with their personal values and needs, and protecting their access to comprehensive health care services.
By combining my dedication to addressing social determinants of health with my passion for women’s health, I aspire to be a driving force for change through advocacy and policy. By working toward equitable health care policies and promoting awareness about women’s health issues, I hope to contribute positively to the wellbeing of individuals and families in the Detroit community and beyond. Ultimately, I aim to be a compassionate physician who strives to make a lasting impact on the lives of those I serve by catalyzing change on systemic levels.
Q: Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?
A: I chose Wayne State because of the ability to bridge academics and clinical experiences early on. Within the first week of medical school, we were practicing our clinical skills on standardized patients. The School of Medicine is also surrounded by so many amazing hospitals, and the physicians are so welcoming to shadowing and networking. The city of Detroit has many free clinics as well, where students can practice their clinical skills and learn from different clinical cases. I love being able to integrate what I’m learning in class and apply it to real-life cases, even within my preclinical years.
Q: What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?
A: I love how much everyone is looking out for each other. My classmates are always checking in on each other and offering their support. Upperclassmen medical students are so excited and willing to give you guidance and advice, whether it be about how to study, find research or shadowing and honestly anything else. Whether you need a ride to volunteer at a clinic or just need someone to vent to, Warrior M.D. students will be there for you.
Q: What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?
A: The hardest part when beginning medical school was finding a balance. You will put so much time into studying, but it’s important to find time for yourself as well. Someone once told me that life doesn’t go on hold just because you're in medical school – and this can’t be more true! You have to keep making time for your family, friends, new experiences and yourself while also balancing studying and extracurriculars. It’s definitely been difficult, and balance doesn’t happen overnight, but making a commitment to having a life outside of studying is so important.