Students from Wayne State University’s School of Medicine and Law School took to the ice at Buffalo Wild Wings Arena in Troy, Mich., last month for an exhibition hockey game dubbed the “Malpractice Cup.”
The MedWings prevailed in the Oct. 14 game, outscoring their Wayne Law opponents 9 to 4.
The teams plan to compete regularly, with the intent of establishing both a diabetes mellitus screening and legal advocacy clinic after exhibition games at Detroit-area recreational centers.
Since Detroit is known as “Hockeytown,” the teams also hope to introduce and involve community members who attend games to the sport of hockey to improve health and fitness.
Diabetes mellitus affects nearly 10% of the population in Michigan, and nearly one in three individuals has undiagnosed diabetes mellitus, said MedWings team member Jack Summers, a biomedical researcher in the lab of WSU Professor of Medicine and Wayne Health Endocrinologist Warren Lockette, M.D.
“We hope to provide agency for individuals to improve their health. Similarly, in the United States, nearly one million people who seek help for civil legal problems are turned away because of their lack of adequate resources. We aim to reduce this justice gap and to provide guidance for legal aid programs that are available to underserved residents,” Summers said.
Second-year medical student Nathan Li is the MedWings captain. He formed the team in his first year of medical school.
“I have been playing throughout college, and when I met my colleagues during orientation, I realized that many of my peers had played as well. This led to my idea of forming a team for medical students who are still interested in playing,” he said. “It also provided a great way for students to make new friends, find mentorship and build a network of students who can support each other through the stresses of being a medical student. I was blown away by how enthusiastic my peers were in forming this team, and it quickly grew from just an idea to a reality. I have made some of my closest friends in medical school from the team and it has provided me with mentors and friends that I am thankful for to this day. Ever since then I have been actively expanding and recruiting new students to join us and help us grow this team into something truly special.”
Li gives credit to teammate Jack Summers for helping organize the tournament with Wayne Law. The teammates had a class together as undergraduates at the University of Michigan and ran into each other in Wayne State’s Scott Hall.
“He has been instrumental in its success, and he did a great job with the logistics. I am also really proud of my team and how hard they fought to secure the victory against the Law School. Sergei Nosovich of the Law School team was also critical to the success of this event, and I am thankful to him for his work in making this a reality,” Li said.
Wayne Law is captained by Nosovich, a third-year law student. This is his team’s second consecutive year of play, although the law school has a long history of teams before the COVID-19 pandemic began. The roster sits at 13 players, with up to five substitutes, including law students, alumni, undergraduate students and a law professor.
Both teams only recently became aware of each other, Summers said, with the initial goal of competing in the exhibition game, where students and faculty from the School of Medicine and Law School, community members, and friends and family members could support local university-based hockey programs.
“I am really looking forward to continuing this tradition of playing against other schools to help build school spirit while also finding ways to give back to the community,” Li said. “We already have ideas on how we can include more charitable causes in our events to help raise money for the people of Detroit who might need support, and I am very excited to see where this journey takes us. Stay tuned for more exciting events happening.”
Wayne Law plays weekly in Southgate, with game times posted on Instagram @waynelawhockey.
No dates are set for special event games, but they anticipate playing the MedWings again, as well as the University of Michigan Law School.
Anyone interested in playing with either team and/or supporting diabetes mellitus screenings or legal advocacy efforts should contact Jack Summers at firstname.lastname@example.org, Nathan Li at email@example.com, or Sergei Nosovich at firstname.lastname@example.org.