Warrior M.D.

Meet our Warrior M.D. Ambassadors, the friendly faces who welcome prospective students and community members to the Wayne State University School of Medicine. With their insider's knowledge about life as a Wayne State medical student, they're a great resource for all your questions — whether you want to know about classes or living in the city. They've been there, done that, and are happy to share their experience with you.

  • AJ Wilke

    AJ Wilke

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose WSUSOM due to the extensive and remarkable training that I will receive both during my clerkship years and at the numerous student-run clinics and clinical skill sessions that WSUSOM offers in your pre-clerkship years. The unique atmosphere and urban environment will provide skills that will adequately prepare me for the residencies I will apply for in the future. On top of the skills that I will gain, the extensive student medical groups and connections were ultimately the deciding factors for why I chose WSUSOM.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am the president of the Military Medicine Interest Group, as well as a coordinator for the Wilderness Medicine Interest Group. I will be joining the Army under the HPSP scholarship, and I am involved with clinical research.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    To support my health and wellness, I run, do yoga, cycle, rock climb, mountain bike, and fly fish. I love reading Harry Potter in my free time and I also try to catch a Red Wings game whenever I have time!

  • Aarti Patel

    Aarti Patel

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose WSUSOM 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. WSUSOM 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.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    The amazing part about WSUSOM is the vast number of organizations to join! I serve as the President of the American Medical Association Chapter, the Director of Marketing for the Robert R. Frank Student Run Free Clinic, a Class Representative on Student Senate, and as a Warrior M.D. Ambassador. I'm also involved with the Medical Political Action in the Community elective and participate in research.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I recently started going to yoga! I've found that it's a great way to ground yourself, practice mindfulness and re-energize yourself. It's stress-relieving and always helps me focus when I get back to studying.

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    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!

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    My classmates have been by far my favorite part of medical school. Meeting so many amazing people from diverse backgrounds has been an incredible experience. Everyone is so kind, caring and always looking out for each other. It really feels like there is a sense of community and I am so grateful to call these people my friends.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    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!

  • Amanda Stevens

    Amanda Stevens

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose WSUSOM because of its commitment to serving the Detroit community. As a physician I hope to positively impact the community I serve through my practice as well as in other ways. WSUSOM gives us countless opportunities as medical students to volunteer and serve the community in a variety of ways that teaches us the importance of serving the community while allowing us to engage with the patient population frequently.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am president of American Medical Women's Association (AMWA). I am the volunteer coordinator for the Robert R. Frank Student Run Free Clinic. I am Co-coordinator for MD Ambassadors. I am in the Business in medicine elective.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I spend a lot of time with my fiance, friends, and family to support my health and wellness. I also like to cook good, healthy food and work out regularly. I make time in my day to move a bit every day to give my body some relief from sitting around studying.

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    My favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community is the Purple Learning Community which has allowed me to find study groups and make many friends. Everyone is so supportive and collaborative. It is so great to be a part of a school that promotes collaboration and support for peers.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The best part of my first year of medical school was getting back into volunteering regularly and getting to serve the community as a medical student in the free clinics. I have had so much fun learning skills in Kado and then going into the free clinics and applying those skills while helping the community.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    The hardest part of beginning medical school is finding a balance between studying and living life. I have had some major life events happen within my first year: my engagement and the death of my grandfather. Both of these events are drastically different but have been rather emotional and time-consuming. Learning to balance my time and figure out ways to multitask and deal with my emotions and stress in a healthy way has been difficult at times, but the community and medical school at WSUSOM have been very helpful!

  • Andrew Kirmse

    Andrew Kirmse

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I decided on Wayne State University for medical school because I was really looking for a school dedicated to serving their community and helping out those most vulnerable in our society through research, compassionate care, and forward thinking. Wayne had done such a great job showing prospective students how important it was to the school that students serve the community of Detroit and grow as people through helping others. They backed up this claim with the numerous student run clinics, their outreach programs in the metro Detroit area, and focus on being catalysts for change here in the city. I am so glad that I chose Wayne State and feel that it was the right decision for me as a person and future provider.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    Some of the extracurriculars I'm involved in include group coordinator for the Emergency Medicine Interest Group, Research Coordinator for First Aid First, the Medical Political Action Elective, Warrior MD Ambassador, as well as research through Detroit Receiving's Emergency Department. I volunteer regularly with many of the student run clinics and think it is something every student should have the opportunity to do at least once. It gives you a chance to work as part of a real care team and try to use some of the skills you have learned to care for a person.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The best part of my first year of medical school has been getting to meet, and make friends with, so many wonderful people. I am not from this area and did not know who I was going to meet when I moved here or what my peers were going to be like. The friends I have gained here since starting this journey will truly be with me for the rest of my life and I'm so glad I had the chance to meet them here at Wayne.

  • Anirudh Chitale

    Anirudh Chitale

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    After doing undergrad out of state, I was excited to return back to Michigan and have the opportunity to give back to a great and deserving city of Detroit that gave me so many wonderful experiences growing up. In addition to being an influential research university, WSUSOM offers the opportunity for hands-on involvement at numerous free clinics, early and plentiful clinical rotations, and connections to every major health system in Detroit, being the only MD program in the city. Detroit also has a vibrant and continuously growing cultural and entertainment scene to explore.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I serve as co-Coordinator of CHIP Clinic, Vice President of Detroit vs. Addiction, Orange Learning Community Coordinator, and co-Coordinator of Warrior MD Ambassadors. Additionally, I am enrolled in the MPAC (Medicine and Political Action in the Community) and Research electives. I also do research with a family medicine physician at Henry Ford Health System.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I enjoy playing tennis, watching Detroit sports games, and making music. I also love to sleep in, play videogames, and explore restaurants/bars/breweries around Midtown and other neighborhoods of Detroit.

  • Anjani Raja

    Anjani Raja

    Class of 2026

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State University School of Medicine for both the curricular and extracurricular opportunities that this medical school provides. With such a large student body, there are so many diverse students with whom I can study, share resources and make lifetime connections. The curriculum has a focus on gaining clinical experiences very early on through the Clinical Skills sessions to learn and practice interacting with patients. Outside of school there are many free clinics to volunteer at on a weekly basis. Most importantly, Wayne is in the heart of Detroit, a unique urban population that many clubs capitalize on to gain skills working with the diverse patient population here. Through informational sessions, population screenings or treating uninsured patients, many organizations work closely with the people of Detroit - a population that makes Wayne’s medical school excellent at preparing students to be well-rounded and diversely experienced physicians.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I love baking, rock climbing, and exploring new restaurants! I think it is especially important to eat good food while in medical school, so I make it a point to bake something every week, and I have a running list of all the Detroit restaurants I have tried. I also like rock climbing to stay active since there are great local climbing gyms here and it's a good way to take my mind off of school.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    So far I have loved the opportunities to explore Detroit through medical achool. During the first few weeks there were informational and social events at bars and breweries, and recently I have been volunteering at various farmer's markets around the city through student organizations. Wayne State University School of Medicine is unique in that the community service and organizations focus on serving people all throughout Detroit, giving medical students a chance to see what the city has to offer, and offer their own service back to the city.

  • Annie Tonnu

    Annie Tonnu

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State because I wanted to go to a school that prioritizes urban health care with a diverse patient population. Wayne State also has many student-run clinics and organizations that I can get involved in. Lastly, I wanted to have a good support system as an out-of-state student, and Wayne State offered me that.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I’m involved with the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA), research and Warrior MD Ambassadors. I also practice martial arts, and play tennis in my free time.

  • Brianna Regan

    Brianna Regan

    Class of 2026

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State for many reasons, most of which revolve around the focus on service, the culture of the students and the success of students in the program. The emphasis on service was one of the first things I noticed about Wayne that set it apart from other schools. I believe strongly that the experiences gained during medical school help define the type of physician students become. I wanted to attend a school that understands and offers the sort of experiences necessary for a well-rounded physician. Now attending Wayne, I can confidently say that these experiences are already shaping my education, allowing me to better understand different perspectives and experiences that are encountered frequently as a physician. In addition to the service emphasis, I wanted a school that I felt connected to the students I would be spending so much time with. With every encounter I had with a Wayne student, from my interview, in a school tour, and in a coffee chat session, I felt very welcomed and there was a general culture of support and teamwork. Those qualities are essential for all of our collective success in medical school and Wayne students embodied them well. Wayne students are quite successful with far above national average match rates and the high number of accomplishments students have in training. Overall, all these qualities of Wayne while being located in an urban setting that offers a very diverse patient population to learn from, made my decision to attend this school easy.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am one of the coordinators for the learning community houses within the Wayne community. As the green house coordinator, I plan events and foster a sense of community between members in my house and with other houses as well. The events within the learning community focuses on mentorship, service, learning, and health and wellness. As an M1, there are events that connect us with other M2s, which is so helpful for getting advice and reassurance from individuals who have survived and experienced what we are going through. In addition with this position, I am involved in medical education research, collaborating with other house coordinators to conduct and analyze different aspects of learning communities in education.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The best part of my medical school experience so far has been the people! The students and peers I have met have been very kind and inviting people, and I have made some very good friends. The students above me have given great advice and made the transitionary period into medical school much easier as we were getting started. In addition to the students, the staff at Wayne have been so knowledgable, responsive and determined to support our learning.

  • Brizzy Brown

    Brizzy Brown

    Class of 2026

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State University for medical school because of its emphasis on community engagement in the curriculum. The fact that we get to experience health landscapes all around Detroit throughout our time studying in school is unique to being here. I appreciate being able to learn about the community's needs and about the fundamental principles that lead to their health outcomes at the same time.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I volunteer at the Horizons HIV clinic that is housed by Wayne Pediatrics. I mainly round with the attending physicians, but they allow me to see the patients, ask questions and report back to them, which is really valuable experience. I also am a musician; I mainly play piano, but I also have some out-of-practice trumpet skills that could be put to good use!

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    Hardest part by far was adjusting my mindset. I had to quickly get acclimated to commuting to school while keeping up with meetings, labs, classes and other vocations. I found myself getting overwhelmed rather quickly and realized that I needed to learn how to prioritize things (like taking care of myself) and finding a pace that suites me the best.

  • Charlotte Thill

    Charlotte Thill

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne because I love the school and student's dedication to serving Detroit. As someone who aspires to be a community-focused and service-oriented physician, Wayne proved to be the perfect fit for me. From its classes to its organizations to its partnership with the community, Wayne has opportunities at every corner to explore what service means to you.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am involved in a variety of WSUSOM organizations such as Cass Clinic, a student-run free clinic, where I help run Saturday clinics and organize our volunteer services. I am also involved in the American Medical Women's Association as our Advocacy Chair where I run events to raise awareness around various topics such as period poverty and the school to prison pipeline. I also co-host and produce a podcast with another medical student on women's health and medical history!

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    To support my health and wellness, I make an effort to take time each day for little things I love. Whether it's watching a new episode of a Marvel TV show, catching up on my favorite YouTubers, or reading a chapter of my book. I also always take Friday and Saturday afternoons off to give myself time to relax and see friends!

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    My favorite part of the Warrier M.D. community is how driven my peers are by service work. Everyone I know is involved in one of the many organizations here and is passionate about the communities they serve. Service reminds us all why we want to be physicians in the first place while giving us a chance to get away from studying and connect with our community.

  • Chelsea Yu

    Chelsea Yu

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    A big reason why I chose WSUSOM was because of the number of opportunities available for the students to get involved and make a difference in the local community. Not only are there a plethora of opportunities to serve the local community, in both clinical and non-clinical contexts, there is so much opportunity to hold leadership positions and directly contribute to positive change. Not many medical schools can provide this type of opportunity or experience like WSUSOM provides.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    Extracurriculars are truly my favorite part of school, because it's an opportunity to go out, do things, and help make positive change. Currently, I am a the Purple Learning Community Coordinator (GO PURPLE!), the Director of Operations of Robert R. Frank Student Run Free Clinic (SRFC), and the Outreach Coordinator for the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA). And, of course, the Warrior MD Ambassadors!

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I like to spend time with friends, cook, and play tennis! I also like to indulge in some video games when I have the time. Most importantly, I set boundaries between school and down time! I try my best to end my studying in the evening so that the rest of the night, I have an opportunity to do something I enjoy that isn't related to academics.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The best part so far has been meeting so many new people and finding new friends! Medical school is certainly a large commitment and a big change for most, if not everyone. Being able to share in this journey together with friends (the ups AND the downs) has taught me so much about myself, and I'm really grateful to be here at WSUSOM in this portion of my life!

  • Christian Freitag

    Christian  Freitag

    Class of 2026

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State because of its continued dedication to community service and service learning in the Detroit community. It's only at Wayne State where I am able to directly impact the community that I live and surround myself in each and every day. Similarly, I chose Wayne State because of its continued dedication and receptivity to its students' feedback, using it to make changes in the curriculum when needed.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    Some of my current extracurricular activities are being a part of the Wayne State University School of Medicine Admissions Committee, interviewing and meeting potential future Warrior M.Ds. I am also the Red team house coordinator who organizes events and team bonding for my cohort of students. One of my favorite extracurricular activities is playing for the Wayne State Club Soccer team! I've been playing since I was five and being able to continue that has been really great.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    The hardest part about beginning medical school is the change in the amount of workload that we receive as medical students. It is extremely easy to get overwhelmed by it and lose track of what you need to do each day, so it is important to establish a routine early on.

  • Daphne Pate

    Daphne Pate

    Class of 2026

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State University School of Medicine because it was the perfect fit for me. I was raised in Wayne County, and I have so much love for this area. I was drawn to the early clinical experience available, giving me the opportunity to give back to my community as soon as year one started. I also was drawn to the number of organizations and clubs to be a part of. I love to meet people and be involved, so I knew this was something that was important to me. All the physicians I have gone to in my life, such as my pediatrician and primary care physician, have graduated from Wayne State. They have been great role models for me in this process and have great things to say about Wayne in regards to their experience/preparation for the field.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I love to go on walks and get to the gym as much as I can. I also try to take breaks often while I am studying to help give my mind a few minutes off. I especially love taking my poodles Winnie and Maggie on walks. Studying with friends supports my health and wellness too, so I alternate days studying alone versus studying in a public space and with others.

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    My favorite part is how quickly the first year students have been included in this community. I was able to meet new friends and interact with so many new people. The community is always keeping us engaged, planning outreach events, and hosting group activities downtown. I have been able to experience the city of Detroit in a way that I haven’t before with new people that always support me!

  • Eleftherios Halkias

    Eleftherios Halkias

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I wanted to go to a medical school in an urban setting that offered many extracurriculars and service opportunities. A family friend graduated from WSUSOM and he gave WSUSOM glowing reviews and told me all about the food scene in Detroit. I read about the school, the extracurriculars and the administration's commitment to listening to student input and I felt that I would fit in at WSUSOM. I also knew that I wanted to get into research after not having done so in college and WSUSOM offered many opportunities to do so.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    My extracurriculars include serving as the Advocacy and Communications Co-Chair for the Wayne Chapter of the AMA and I do research through Henry Ford Health System. I am also working on trying as many restaurants in the Detroit area during the next four years.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I love to cook and more importantly I love to eat and I've made sure to keep trying recipes and restaurants since school started. It's also important to stay active and keep in touch with the people you're close with so I give myself time to make phone calls and work out.

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    My favorite part of the Warrior MD community is the culture of support that has been established and continues to be a central focus of WSUSOM. Our classmates work together and motivate each other and the faculty do a great job of answering questions and receiving feedback. The administration meets with our Class Representatives regularly to ensure that our student body is supported and that our concerns are addressed.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The best part of my first year was when I realized just how far I've come since classes started. Wayne has many student run clinics and I volunteered with Cass Clinic during the first trimester and everything I heard and saw was unfamiliar to me. I volunteered with the Robert R. Frank Student Run Free Clinic during the end of M1 and I felt a lot more knowledge. Every clinic has M4s and physician preceptors there as well, it was satisfying to apply the knowledge I had learned from Kado Clinical Skills and lectures to real patient encounters.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    The hardest part of beginning medical school was setting boundaries with myself. Especially during the first couple weeks, it was easy to study for a lot of hours and feel like I was being productive. In hindsight, I was not being efficient and by the end of the first trimester I felt overly stressed and frustrated. During the second trimester, I spent time trying different study methods and settled on a method that worked for me. Since then I have had more time to spend with my friends and devote to extracurriculars. I would definitely recommend trying new things in medical school, whether they be study methods or activities.

  • Elise Turke

    Elise Turke

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne because of it's strong dedication to the community of Detroit. I knew that I would grow the most by learning from and serving a population as diverse as Detroits. Through its curriculum, and a strong network of clinical and volunteers opportunities, it is clear that Wayne prioritizes teaching their medical students how to value the experiences and individualized needs of their patients. Not to mention, the city of Detroit offers a lot to explore, including music, food, and art/culture!

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am the Yellow Learning Community Coordinator, an LC Representative on Student Senate, the Outreach Coordinator for the Medical Student Garden, as well as a Spanish Instructor within LMSA. I'm also a M.D. Ambassador! I love working in the Amigos Médicos Clinic, as well as the Horizons Pediatric HIV clinic. In my free time, I enjoy rock climbing, dancing around my apartment to music, and reading :)

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    My favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community is everybody's excitement to form a community! From my experience, every student at WSUSOM is eager to work together toward our common goal. Since each of us are coming to Wayne with unique experiences and backgrounds, it's pretty cool to observe how much we learn from each other.

  • Elizabeth Choi

    Elizabeth Choi

    Class of 2026

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State University because the clinical education here is unparalleled, and there are so many opportunities for growth, both in and out of the classroom.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    Director of Internal Affairs for the Robert R. Frank Student Run Free Clinic

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    Go to the gym, spend time with family, and watch Netflix!

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    Everyone is extremely welcoming and supportive. We are all trying to support each other and become the best doctors we can.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The Learning Communities Warrior House Olympics were a blast!

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    The hardest part of starting medical school was learning to adjust to the workload and finding a work-life balance.

  • Elizabeth Helfrich

    Elizabeth Helfrich

    Class of 2026

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I am originally from metro Detroit but spent the last five years in Dallas, Texas. Although I loved and cherished my time in the south, I am a Midwesterner at heart. When visiting medical schools, Wayne stood out due to faculty mentors I met during the Admissions process who wanted to see me succeed even before my first year began. As someone with no family in medicine, this is invaluable to me and something I found at no other medical school; that is why I picked Wayne.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    One of the hardest parts of medical school is finding balance and continuing things you love, even if it's not immediately related to medicine. Within the school, I am on the board for Street Medicine Detroit, an organization dedicated to improving access to quality medical care for Detroit’s houseless population, and I am involved with Common Threads and the Emergency Medicine Interest Group. Outside of school, I continue to work for Divers Alert Network on their Diver Return after COVID-19 study, a five-year longitudinal study looking at the cardiopulmonary impact of COVID-19 on Scuba Divers. I also help teach scuba diving locally in warmer months, am an avid hiker, and am usually exploring Detroit's many coffee shops and museums in my free time.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I love to swim and I love to bake (all things in balance). I found friends who also enjoy open water swimming, and we made a habit of going to the Detroit River or Lake St. Clair for an early morning brain break before a long day of studying. After too many hours of studying, I'll often "procrastibake" by trying new recipes, usually muffins, usually with a twist. Some of these creations are more successful than others, but between study groups, labs and meetings, they never go to waste.

  • Ellie Lewandowski

    Ellie Lewandowski

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I choose WSUSOM as my first and only choice for medical school. WSUSOM is committed to giving us the knowledge and basic skills required to practice medicine. Health is multifactorial. WSUSOM allows us to not only learn about the various aspects of health but also act on them through the numerous student-run clinics, organizations, and community partnerships. Detroit has given me so many opportunities and it is my honor to give back and serve the community.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am a Health & Wellness Class Representative, Med2Med leader, treasurer for the Medical Student Garden, and a M.D. Ambassador of course. Unrelated to school, I enjoy cooking Italian food, Katonah yoga, and catering to my very needy dog, Wheezy.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I reserve time for my health and wellness each day. I do not separate school life from home life. I feel and perform much better when I am able to have time for both. Right when I get out of bed, I stretch and exercise. I take yoga breaks throughout the day. I also make sure to spend time playing and walking with dog. I make my own meals and always end my day with homemade chocolate chip cookies.

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    WSUSOM has one of the largest student bodies. I am so blessed to be able to meet and work with such incredible individuals. Everyday I am inspired by my class and what they achieve. We genuinely care about one another and are always looking out for each other. I know I can always rely on my class for guidance, support, and a good laugh. Without my class, I definitely would not have made it throughout medical school so far.

  • Emilia Clementi

    Emilia Clementi

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State University because of its diverse patient population, urban environment, and unique Global & Urban Health & Equity curriculum that will help me achieve my dream of becoming a global health physician that leads infection elimination efforts both internationally and domestically within underserved communities.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am the president of the World Health Student Organization and the Infectious Disease Interest Group. Additionally, I am a member of AMA, AMWA, and Warrior M.D. Ambassadors!

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I enjoy being physically active, whether that is running, biking, hiking, surfing, snowboarding, or skateboarding. I was a varsity athlete in college on the sailing team and find that moving my body greatly improves my mental health.

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    My favorite part is the large number of like-minded students that I have had the privilege of being surrounded by. Despite being on Zoom for the majority of the time, I have been able to make some close friends because of our welcoming atmosphere. Students come from all over the country, and I have loved hearing their stories.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The best part of my first year was working in the anatomy labs and learning the various structures with an actual human body. I feel very lucky that we were able to have this experience in person, and it really helped me solidify the names and locations of muscles, nerves, and other structures.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    The hardest part of beginning medical school was moving to a new place during the pandemic and adapting to the new climate.

  • Emily Smith

    Emily Smith

    Class of 2026

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    Having attended Wayne State University for my undergraduate degree, I am very familiar with the remarkably kind and supportive community that WSU fosters. I knew that medical school was going to be an incredible challenge, and I wanted to attend a school that I trusted would give me a community to lean on when I need encouragement and assistance. Helping others - whether that be one’s peers, patients or general community members - is a core aspect of the ethos of Wayne State.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The best part of medical school thus far has been spending time with my classmates! Wayne State organizes numerous social events every block for us to get to know our classmates outside of the classroom, and this community has been invaluable to me as I start to settle into medical school.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    One of the most difficult parts of transitioning to medical school is learning how to manage the sheer volume of material that you're expected to learn. There are so many resources available to medical students, but figuring out which work for you takes time.

  • Francis Lauzier

    Francis Lauzier

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I grew up in North Carolina, where most of my clinical experiences served rural communities. I hoped to attend a medical school in an area with a more diverse patient population, as well as one immersed within an urban environment. Being in the heart of Midtown and in a perfect position to serve Detroit, I felt that Wayne would be a perfect fit. The medical school and several clinical sites are only a block away from my apartment, and I have already had the privilege of serving at some of Wayne’s clinical sites in and around Detroit. I am happy that I made the decision to attend Wayne State University for Medical School, and I feel excited about all the opportunities that will continue to guide me towards becoming the physician I want to be.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I make sure to exercise, eat well, and take time for myself to support my health and wellness. I try to run throughout Midtown and Downtown Detroit, often with my wonderful peers, or exercise at the Scott Hall gym five to six times a week. I make sure that I am eating well, and often catch up with my family and friends back at home while I prepare meals for the week. Setting aside some time for myself each weekend allows me to destress, relax, and just hang out with friends!

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    My favorite part of the Warrior MD community is my fellow Warrior MDs! Especially as someone from out of state, I immediately felt welcome at Wayne by my peers, who went out of their way to host events before orientation even began. I often find myself studying on campus, reviewing content with peers in study rooms, and exchanging study resources with peers, which helps medical school be more manageable and less stressful. Outside of the classroom, I have enjoyed extra encouragement to exercise through our running community, pickup soccer group, and our intramural soccer team. I know I can always count on my fellow Warrior MD classmates, which makes the Warrior MD community so amazing.

  • Gowri Chandrashekar

    Gowri Chandrashekar

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I choose Wayne State because of its commitment to serving the community. As a medical student, I really wanted to be able to take the skills and knowledge that I am learning in school and implement them in the community. I wanted to be able learn and work in an inner-city so I would gain exposure to different patient populations and determinants of health. Additionally, being from the suburbs of Detroit, WSUSOM has an amazing reputation in the area and I was very excited to be a part of it.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am involved with Physicians for Social Responsibility, that works with non-profits in Detroit, such as Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, to help address different social determinants of health including food insecurity and environmental issues. Additionally, I am a part of the Board of Student Organizations that helps plan events to help build community, such as our annual Pre-Clerkship Olympics, and helps organizations transitions for executive boards. I also do research through the Scholarly Concentrations program on food insecurity in Detroit.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    In my free time, I enjoy gardening, baking, painting, and visiting the dog park across the street. Also, I really like to take advantage of all the events going on in Detroit, for example fowling (football bowling), art exhibits, concerts, and much more.

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    I love how collaborative our community is! Every upperclassman I have met has been so kind and consistently encouraged me to reach out if I have any questions or need any advice. Additionally, our class is so supportive and empathetic. Students constantly shares resources, supports each other through any difficulties, and advocates for each other.

  • Huda Warsame

    Huda Warsame

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I admire the school’s connection to the community via community engagement and service learning. There is an interplay of recognizing how much our student body can aid the area, but also how much they can learn from the area as well. Detroit is a great city with a diverse population, and I felt as though I can learn from the community within the city, which is why I appreciated how intertwined the school is within the community. My goal in health, as someone from a marginalized background, is to advocate for all my patients, especially ones from a marginalized background who feel like there is a barrier between themselves and their health. I believe the education I have obtained/could obtain from Wayne State and the greater metropolitan Detroit area will get me there.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I think a part of keeping well in medical school is having and keeping up with your hobbies. I try to continue with my painting and digital art since being in school. I find it as a good way to unwind and to also work the more creative/artistic side of my brain.

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    My favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community is how collaborative and helpful it is. My peers continuously advocate for one another and aid each other in and outside of the classroom. I rarely feel as though I’m in competition with them. Rather, we are a team working to become, and make each other, better physicians.

  • Jack McConnell

    Jack McConnell

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I decided to attend Wayne State because of the school's location and commitment to giving back to the community. After attending undergrad in Indiana, I was happy to return back to Detroit and begin my medical education in the place I call home. Since beginning medical school, I have already started to explore the countless restaurants, theaters, and events the city has to offer. In addition, I have been able to engage with the diverse patient population through various volunteering organizations and student clinics. There are countless ways for people to become involved at Wayne, which allowed me to find the groups which I felt were right for me.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    Outside of representing the school as a student ambassador, I am the Vice-President of the Infectious Disease Interest group and also a member of two pre-med mentoring programs for undergraduate students. I do research in an Orthopedic Hand surgeon lab based in the Henry Ford Health System. Finally, I hope to become involved in the Learning Coach and Learning Community programs to engage more with the incoming class of medical students!

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    To me, the best thing about the Warrior M.D. community is the collaboration and inclusiveness present within each class. All of the students and faculty are supportive and try to help you achieve your best performance possible. Whether it is in anatomy lab or in a self-made study group, everyone has your best interest at heart. I am grateful for the friends I have made and the constant encouragement of the faculty and staff.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    The hardest part of beginning medical school was transitioning to the increased demands compared to undergrad. Aside from a couple labs and required events throughout the week, there are very few things to keep you accountable for staying on top of your work. However, the curriculum structure has allowed to to become a more independent and organized individual. There are also countless avenues for assistance if you ever struggle with the more demanding workload or schedule.

  • Jacob Dougherty

    Jacob Dougherty

    Class of 2026

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I grew up in the metropolitan Detroit area and spent some time at Children's Hospital of Michigan as a patient when I was younger. Wayne State University allowed me to attend medical school close to home as well as learn in the environment that I was once a patient in.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am involved with the Robert R. Frank Student Run Free Clinic, Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity, the Warrior M.D. Ambassador program, and research in the field of Critical Care/Emergency Medicine.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I enjoy biking and going hiking in parks around metropolitan Detroit, as well as playing golf or going to the driving range on the weekends.

  • Jessica Lee

    Jessica Lee

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I choose Wayne State for medical school for the opportunity to live and train in Detroit. The clinical experiences I will have here at WSUSOM will allow me to serve the Detroit community while preparing me to become an excellent physician.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    Ive taken advantage of many opportunities available at WSUSOM. I am involved in two student clinics, the MALTA Medical Clinic on Woodward Ave and the Robert R. Frank Student-Run Free Clinic. I'm also a part of the Plant-Based Nutrition Group (PBNG), MD Ambassadors, and the Peer Mentor program. Outside of school-sponsored organizations, I also regularly volunteer at the Detroit municipal animal shelter (DACC).

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    A huge part of maintaining my health and wellness is cooking and exercise. I look forward to cooking healthy plant-based meals with a couple of my friends each night. I have also gotten in the routine of doing at-home HIIT workouts and walks around the neighborhood several times a week. Lastly, I enjoy spending time outside and I try to study outside as much as possible!

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    The Warrior M.D. Community has proven to be collaborative and supportive. My classmates are all eager to help each other out in school and beyond. I am grateful for the sense of community here at Wayne Med.

  • John Rexroth

    John Rexroth

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State University School of Medicine because of the city of Detroit. I grew up not too far from Detroit, but never really experienced all that it had to offer before my visit. Detroit is a growing cultural hub that has endless restaurants, museums, and events to explore. It also has a diverse patient population that allows me to get the most thorough clinical education. I am able to start being hands-on early by volunteering at the many clinics in and around the city. Combine this with the early clinical rotations and numerous research opportunities that are available to students, I knew WSUSOM was the best school for me to grow into a well-rounded physician and will allow me to give back to the deserving city of Detroit.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am a coordinator for the Orthopedic Surgery Interest Group as well as for Medicine in Motion (a group that promotes philanthropy and combatting burnout in physicians in training by organizing wellness activities). I also do a lot of volunteering, with several different clinics. I do research with physicians in Henry Ford Hospital System. Finally, I volunteer with ARIE, a program that matches medical students with an individual in the community who is living with a mental or physical disability.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I work out and play sports with friends. I am a part of multiple group chats for different sports that all meet pretty frequently , giving me a chance to get outside and take a needed break from studying. I also go for walks during the day, and spend time calling my friends and family to stay connected with their lives as best as possible. I have also enjoyed exploring new restaurants and parts of the city.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    I really enjoyed being in the anatomy lab during first year. Doing the dissections on cadavers allowed me to be hands on, and reminded me of the the intimate relationship between a doctor and patient. While working with my "first patient", I was able to start my clinical experience early. I also gained a new level of respect that I will not lose sight of going forward in my medical career.

  • Jordan Tall

    Jordan Tall

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I felt that Wayne State SOM was the most community-minded and had the most opportunities for me to get involved and/or take the lead in service. There are so many student-led organizations and community-service projects to choose from, and they are right in our backyard in one of the coolest (and most under-rated) cities in the US.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I love being involved in FitKids (the best service-learning opportunity, the secret's now out) and am currently the president of an amazing Pediatrics interest group (a.k.a. PIG) squad.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    Whenever I need break from studying, I just kick it with my kiddos (I have three of them at home to choose from). If (when) I need a break from the kids, I play basketball or go birding or disc golfing. And, if I'm really feeling stressed: yoga, Nestlé abuelita, and a couple episodes of "It's Always Sunny."

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    One of the best things about Wayne is the sheer size of the student body; 300+ people from all over the country (and abroad... oh, and Canada)! There is always somebody new to meet and a new perspective and friendship to be gained.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    I have loved dabbling in a wide variety of service activities (headed by my amazing classmates) and taking part in interesting seminars and presentations hosted by the different interest groups. Removing and holding a human brain in gross anatomy lab was also pretty awe-inspiring.

  • Kaitlin Ross

    Kaitlin Ross

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State for Medical School because of the abundance of opportunities that Detroit provides. Whether you want to volunteer at a student run free clinic, conduct research or even start your own club, Wayne has ample avenues for you to pursue your goals. Additionally, Detroit provides an exciting living experience with parks, museums, sports arenas, shopping, and an abundance of locally owned restaurants to explore!

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    Some of my extracurriculars include: running the Flu Vaccination Program at Cass Clinic, helping lead Detroit vs Addiction, conducting workout sessions through Medicine in Motion, and doing research at Henry Ford Hospital. On top of being a current Warrior M.D. Ambassador, I will also be a Peer Mentor for the incoming Class of 2025!

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I love painting, baking, doing yoga, and hanging out with friends to keep up with my mental and physical well-being. I also try out different restaurants, shops, or activities in Detroit whenever I have free time! (Check out Eastern Market on Saturdays, Garden Bowl, Belle Isle, a Tiger's game, Fowling, and more)

  • Katelyn Toloff

    Katelyn Toloff

    Class of 2026

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I was so fortunate to be able to work for the Wayne State University School of Medicine while doing a master's degree here as well, and I fell in love with Wayne State from the very beginning! I love the commitment the medical school has to serving the city of Detroit, as well as the passion from faculty for teaching and for the wellbeing and success of their students.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I began training for the Detroit Free Press International half-marathon right around when we started year one in July. It turned out to be a great stress relief and a unique way to explore various parts of Detroit. The Dequindre Cut and the River Walk are so beautiful and great places to run, walk, bike, you name it! To continue to support my health and wellness I've started training for a marathon.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The best part of my first year of medical school has been developing close friendships with people in my class. Although adjusting to starting medical school and being so busy has been challenging, the people I've become close with in my class have been so supportive and inclusive. We help each other whenever we can and celebrate each other's successes. I couldn't imagine a better class to be a part of!

  • Krishni Kumaresan

    Krishni Kumaresan

    Class of 2026

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State because of the school's commitment to community service and engagement. Attending a medical school that cares for the community it serves was very important to me when I was deciding on programs. I also wanted to be at a medical school in a diverse city filled with lots of opportunities, of which Wayne has plenty. Lastly, everyone I spoke to at Wayne throughout the admissions process, from faculty to students, were incredibly warm and helpful, so I knew that feeling comfortable at Wayne would not be a problem.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I am incredibly passionate about healthy eating and cooking. I love to go to the public markets around the city (shoutout to Eastern Market!) and find the brightest, most colorful produce in season to cook and incorporate into new and old recipes.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    The hardest part was definitely adjusting to a new community, culture and lifestyle. As an out-of-state student who has never been to Michigan or Detroit, I took some time to get used to city life and Midwestern culture. Medical school is also not like undergrad, so another difficult aspect of starting school was learning how to study in a more efficient and effective way.

  • Lauren Kasmikha

    Lauren Kasmikha

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose to attend WSUSOM because I knew I wanted to experience the unmatched clinical opportunities that are offered by the medical school and the Detroit area at-large. WSUSOM has such a rich history and integration with the city of Detroit, as well as active engagement with members of the community, and I was really excited by the opportunity to learn from the unique groups that comprise the city. I also really valued that the school and curriculum are so focused on community engagement and training physicians to be competent in working to reduce healthcare disparities.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    In addition to being an M.D. Ambassador, I am also a co-president of the Chaldean American Medical Student Association and a clinic coordinator for Auntie Na's Medical House! Further, I am involved in research through the department of Internal Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    Health and wellness are both really important to me, and things I definitely try to prioritize in order to be successful in medical school. I try to incorporate some form of exercise into my day every day- whether it be yoga, Pilates, or simply a walk outside. This definitely helps me to clear my head and take a break from all the studying. I also try to spend as much time as I can with friends and family.

  • Lauren Larson

    Lauren Larson

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    First and foremost, it is close to home for me. I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit and I wanted to be able to stay close to my loved ones while traversing the challenges of medical school! However, I was also attracted to the idea of being able to continue to work with Detroit volunteering organizations through my curriculum as I have been working with programs like Gleaner's food bank since I was in high school. Finally, I love that we have the largest class size in the nation. Some may think a large class size could decrease the chances to get to know your colleagues but I think the large class size actually promotes a sense of community and greatly increases the chances you will find a bunch of colleagues that are very similar to you and share your unique interests!

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am currently the communications coordinator for the MD Ambassador team, I work in the Wayne/DMC pathology department doing research on breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers as well as COVIDs effects on residency programs, and I play ice hockey and videogames for fun!

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I prioritize sleep, physical activity, and healthy eating above all else. I know that if I cannot get 7-8 hours of sleep each night and am not able to stay active 3-4 times a week, there is no way I will have the energy or alertness to get through 3-4 lectures a day!

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    The fact that we are so large, no matter what your unique interest, there is almost certainly another student that would share that interest with you!

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    I really enjoyed getting to know my anatomy table/group. Over these last 9 months, we have gone from close colleagues to best friends and I am very grateful for the opportunity I received through Wayne to meet them.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    Adjust to the rigorous demands and schedule that hit you right off the bat. Even though I did very well in undergrad and had a rigorous study schedule then, nothing can truly prepare you for what comes in medical school besides just getting into it and adjusting to the speed of it. No matter how hopeless it may seem at first, it is quite impressive to experience how your brain adapts to the speed of information being thrown at it so that by the end of your first year; it almost feels natural to you and you can get through so much more work in a fraction of the time!

  • Leticia Metseegoum Simo

    Leticia Metseegoum Simo

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State University School of Medicine because of the school's emphasis of student education within a culture of inclusion and local investment in the community. I wanted to learn in an environment that accepts differences and promotes tolerance and respect for each other, and where I knew I would will receive all the support necessary to become an excellent patient-centered physician.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    1) BMA First Year Outreach Chair 2) AMWA Secretary 3) AMWA Undergraduate Mentoring Program - mentor 4) WSU Campus wide Pre-medical Mentoring Program - mentor 5) WSUSOM Warrior M.D. Ambassador 6) AMWA National Mentorship Program - mentor 7) Neurosurgery Interest Group - member

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The best part of my first year of medical school has been Gross Anatomy (GA). When school first started, anatomy class was a subject of apprehension for me, as I was wondering how I would react when came the time to start dissecting a cadaver. Three months into medical school, I was handed my first patient. The first encounter was not easy, as I had a multitude of emotions running through me at the same time. However, after volunteering to make the first cut, everything started to move along. Spending time in the GA lab gave me a hands-on understanding of human anatomy, and has shown me how cool and intricate the human body is.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    The hardest part of beginning medical school was achieving balance. During my first month of medical school, I was hit with more than 50 lectures. On top of that, I had to learn and practice clinical skills with standardized patients, and I had several zoom meetings to attend. This workload was something new to me, and saying goodbye to the free time I was used to was a big issue. In addition, maintaining simple good habits like exercise and proper diet was tough, as I was convinced that every minute not spent studying could be a big hit on my ability to keep up with the material. Fortunately, I had mentors and coaches assigned through WSUSOM who helped me work through everything, and I went from barely passing a unit and not having a life to passing with grades higher than the cut off and taking on extracurricular activities. Now I have the time to sit on the board of two campus organizations, act as a mentor, cook what I want, exercise regularly, and enjoy Korean Dramas.

  • Luke Geierman

    Luke Geierman

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State for many reasons! The most important thing to me about attending Wayne is the connection we have to the Detroit community and the underserved patient population that we care for. The people of this city are incredible, and it is an honor for me to be able to serve them and support the community through student organizations. Wayne's many opportunities for research involvement were also a big draw for me!

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    Besides being a Warrior M.D. Ambassador, I do neurology research and am a coordinator for the Wilderness Medicine Interest Group and the Medical Student Garden.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    For health and wellness, I love biking and running through the city! On weekends, I love exploring some of the countless delicious restaurants Detroit has to offer.

  • Madison Mervis

    Madison Mervis

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State University in order to have an immersive medical experience that involved engagement with the local community. Through the WSUSOM curriculum and student organizations, medical students have countless opportunities to volunteer in both clinical and social outreach settings. Attending Wayne means building relationships in the community and participating in real clinical encounters as early as first year!

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    At WSUSOM, I am a coordinator for the Warrior M.D. Ambassador program and Street Medicine Detroit. I also do orthopedic surgery research, assist in the anatomy labs as a prosector, and participate in our chapter of the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA). Additionally, I love rock climbing! When I'm not busy studying, you can find me at the local climbing gym, Dyno Detroit!

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    Anatomy lab was definitely my favorite part about the first year of medical school. At WSUSOM, we perform full body cadaver dissections and have the opportunity to learn about anatomical structures in a completely hands-on environment. Because the pandemic required most of our other classes to be virtual, anatomy lab was the one time where I could interact with my classmates and professors which made it that much more exciting.

  • Mai Daigle

    Mai Daigle

    Class of 2026

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    Aside from it being a great medical school, I chose Wayne State because of its desire to serve the city of Detroit and the opportunities that the school offers for medical students as far as community involvement, clinical experience and leadership roles pretty soon after starting. Coming from Texas, rarely did medical schools have the ability to be in the heart of urban cities where attention was truly needed. Wayne provides many opportunities to get involved with the community, clinics and leadership roles very early in your career. This was something that I believed was very important and something I was excited to dive into when attending. Wayne’s large and diverse class appealed to me because of the many opportunities students would have to meet and interact with those who are different than them, something that I believe is essential in medical school. In addition, Wayne’s faculty and staff are some of the most involved in student learning that I had ever seen. It was comforting to know that medical students had that support when going through something as difficult as medical school.

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    My favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community is that although the class is big, the people you meet make it feel small. Everyone wants to make friends and support each other and you easily find your people within the first few months. I've loved everyone that I've met and have really enjoyed the social outings that people put together to meet others. It's a really loving and warm community that makes it stand out from other schools.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    The hardest part of the beginning of medical school was learning how to actually study. In undergrad, it was all about studying just to know what was on the exam. Here, it is actually studying to learn and studying to retain information. That was probably the hardest part of the transition to medical school, but something that everyone was learning so I didn't feel alone.

  • Mariam Abdelmesih

    Mariam Abdelmesih

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State University School of Medicine because of its dedication to community service and clinical excellence. Being a part of the Warrior M.D. community means having endless opportunities to give back to the community, whether it be involvement in student-run free clinics, mentorship and health policy and advocacy. There are also many opportunities to get involved in student organizations and research very early on in medical school, which is something that I value highly as a medical student.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    To support my health and wellness, I make sure to listen to my body and to be intentional about maintaining a balanced life outside of medicine. I try to cook a nice meal or go to the gym if I need a break from studying. I also have many hobbies outside of medicine, including being involved in my youth community at church, hanging out with friends, and traveling.

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    My favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community is the camaraderie that exists at the medical school! Everyone here is very friendly, including classmates, professors and advisors. I think it is very important to surround yourself with people who will be supportive throughout medical school and I think Wayne State medical school makes it very easy to meet new people and to make close friends who will last a lifetime!

  • Minisha Kanakarajan

    Minisha Kanakarajan

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    Choosing Wayne state was a pretty easy choice for me! I wanted to choose a school that aligned with my own mission statement of increasing diversity and inclusion in medicine and serving the underserved, providing them with quality healthcare. With Wayne being in the heart of Detroit, and their constant displays of diversity and inclusion not only in the student body, but in the faculty too, it was a perfect fit.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I love fashion! Having on a nice outfit always boosts my mood. I also like planning outfits for others too! I also enjoy baking and finding and creating new recipes for me and my family to enjoy. My mother and I also love to volunteer in the community when we have free time, delivering meals to people who need them!

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I support my health and wellness by spending time with family and friends. It brings me back to reality whenever I get sucked into med school life. I also pamper myself with self care days where I'll get my hair and nails done, or get a pedicure or massage! Planning times for having fun is also very essential.

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    I love how easy it is to make friends. Although our class size is large, meeting new people is always pleasant because everyone is kind and down to earth. When you need someone to talk to, there's always someone down to talk.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    My favorite part of my first year has been learning all of the ways I can help those around me. Service Learning has been really eye opening in how much of an impact you can have on your community by getting out there and getting hands on. People really appreciate what we do here at Wayne.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    Keeping up with the fast pace of medical school was definitely a challenge. The analogy that “learning in medical school is like drinking out of a fire hose” was definitely true. I had to push myself past what I thought were my limits rather often, but that's what made me stronger. I grew past those limits which taught me that there's always room to grow.

  • Nicholas Righi

    Nicholas Righi

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    Wayne stands out as exceptional for a multitude of reasons. However, if I had to point to one reason, I chose WSUSOM because I wanted to attend a medical school that fostered a collaborative atmosphere among its students. Before attending medical school, I was worried that the environment would be competitive and lonely. These concerns quickly melted away when I found that the students at Wayne are always willing to lend a had to those that need it, whether this be sharing study resources or generally supporting friends through the stress of this journey.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    In addition to being a Warrior M.D. Ambassador, I am currently a co-coordinator of the Medical Ethics Interest Group (MEIG), which plans case studies, speaker events, and educational presentations for anything related to medical ethics. Additionally, I am involved in emergency medicine research at DMC Sinai Grace through the Research Elective. While there are virtually limitless possibilities for involvement outside of the classroom, I think it is good advice to find a few interests and pursue those passionately.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    With regards to my health, I try to workout regularly at the gym in my apartment, which is beneficial for my physical health but also as an outlet for the immense stress of school. Building a detailed schedule for workouts, meals, and sleep and sticking to it is of utmost importance when starting medical school. As for wellness, I try to get as much school work done earlier in the day if possible to leave my evenings more or less free for relaxation. I also try to spend time on the weekends with friends, family, or to enjoy my hobby in photography.

  • Nick Livingston

    Nick Livingston

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State University because of each student's commitment to serving the Detroit community. I grew up in the metro Detroit area and wanted to go to a medical school where I could give back to the community that has influenced me. It also helped that my interview day experience was amazing and I could sense the compassion and camaraderie from faculty and students.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am the inventory manager for Street Medicine Detroit, I am on the WSUSOM admissions committee, and I am a member of the Aesculpians honors society. I am also involved in Orthopedic hand and wrist research.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    Health and wellness is an essential part of medical school and something that I learned to work into my daily routine to promote my well being and happiness. I try to find time to run almost every day in between watching lectures, and I always save a couple of hours before I sleep for free time to watch TV, play video games, or read!

  • Nyla Leonardi

    Nyla Leonardi

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State University SOM because of the schools commitment to serving its community. Coming from San Francisco I was always passionate about being a part of my community and serving the diverse population of the city. I feel like this is something that Wayne does extremely well even during these crazy times!

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am on the executive board for a new organization called Girls Collective. In Girls Collective our goal is to mentor and partner with young women in the Detroit area and offer them different programs such as dance, college prep, and women's health classes! I am also a part of the American Medical Women's Association!

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    Supporting my health and wellness is extremely important to me. I love to ride my bike, take kickboxing classes, and do yoga almost every day. Staying active with the intense med student schedule is key!

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    My favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community is meeting and getting to know all of my peers. Our class is pretty big, but each person is so unique. Everyone is so hard working and I can already tell that we are going to make a great group of doctors!

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The best part of my first year of medical school was planning the first Girls Collective programming event. We met with a group of 7th and 8th grade girls from a Detroit Public School and told them what our club was all about! It was amazing getting to interact with the students and hear about what kind of activities and mentorship they would like to see from us!

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    The hardest part of beginning medical school is learning that studying is a lifestyle. There is ALWAYS going to be something to study, and it is definitely hard learning how to balance that with the rest of your life. My advice is to find the core things that make you happy and always find a way to incorporate those into your study schedule. Yes we're in medical school to become doctors, but that doesn't mean that we stop being people with hobbies and passions!

  • Parshva Salvi

    Parshva Salvi

    Class of 2026

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State University School of Medicine because my goal of providing high-quality and compassionate care to the community aligned with their mission. The school places great emphasis on community service and offers numerous opportunities for the same through numerous free clinics and volunteering opportunities. Being here and participating in these clinics will allow me to interact with diverse patients, understand their concerns and provide care that fits their context. Therefore, being part of the school will serve as a stepping stone toward my future goal of serving the community. Not only this, but Wayne State University School of Medicine is home to many student organizations and specialty interest groups that will allow me to meet diverse people, get to know them and gain insight into various specialties that are of interest to me.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I'm currently involved in the Warrior M.D. Ambassador program and Campuswide Pre-Medical Mentoring program. I regularly volunteer with many student-run free clinics and participate in outreach programs through other clubs. I'm also involved with student organizations such as the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin and I'm enrolled in the Research elective as well.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The best part so far has been meeting new people from diverse backgrounds and getting to know them and be friends with them. The environment at the Wayne State University School of Medicine is one of mutual trust and respect, and everyone is always ready to help others out. People look out for each other and support each other. The community is very welcoming and caring, and being part of it provides me with a sense of belonging.

  • Rajaa Shoukfeh

    Rajaa Shoukfeh

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State because its dedication to diversity and community service really resonated with me. I loved that Wayne State offers longitudinal service learning opportunities that are integrated within the medical school curriculum. Its location in the heart of Detroit was also an important factor in my decision, because I knew I wanted to serve a diverse patient population.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am the President of the National Arab American Medical Association NextGen chapter at WSU SOM, where I help organize mentorship, service and educational events. I am also a FreshRx Site Coordinator, which is an organization that aims to address nutritional inequality by providing both education and access to fresh healthy produce. Additionally, I am part of the Research Elective, through which I am involved in hidradenitis suppurativa research in HFHS. And of course, I am also a proud M.D. Warrior Ambassador!

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    To support my health and wellness, I find that it's important for me to dedicate time to my friends and family and maintain those valuable relationships. I enjoy spending quality time with loved ones when I am not studying. I also love trying new restaurants in the Detroit area (my friends and I run a food blog together) and dabbling with new recipes.

    What is your favorite part of the Warrior M.D. community?

    I love the diversity of our student body. I am constantly inspired by the variety of life experiences, skills and passions that my classmates have. I also love that there are endless opportunities to get involved with meaningful extracurriculars outside of studying. Wayne State attracts students that are dedicated to community service, and our myriad student orgs and student-run free clinics are a testament to that!

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The best part of first year (which also happens to be one of the most challenging parts) was anatomy lab! It's truly a privilege to be able to learn about the human body in such a detailed manner, and it's an experience you certainly won't forget.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    The transition to medical school is difficult because you are getting used to balancing an increased workload. You may not know what study methods work best for you in the beginning, so my advice is to experiment - because what worked for you in undergrad may not work now. Don't be afraid to ditch old study habits and try new ones!

  • Rana Khamis

    Rana Khamis

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    Growing up in an urban underserved community in New Jersey, I knew that I wanted to go to a school that served the populations that I knew I wanted to serve. Wayne State's mission to serve underserved communities resonated with me because it was one of the main driving forces for me to pursue medicine. It was also important for me to attend a medical school that was ethnically and racially diverse, which the Wayne State University School of Medicine offered. I knew I made the right choice when I met my classmates on the very first week of medical school. I instantly felt a warmth and sense of community that I didn't think could be possible. Prior to medical school, I was a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician and I absolutely loved volunteering, particularly with low-income and homeless populations. When I learned that Wayne State encouraged students to volunteer in both clinical and non-clinical settings, I knew that the experience I would gain as a medical student at Wayne State would be invaluable.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    Finding time for health and wellness during med school can be difficult because there is always something to study, review, or prepare for - the to-do list can feel very overwhelming. However, it is important to realize when you reach your limits and take time to do the things that you love. For me, this is as simple as taking time to cook a good meal, read a book, watch a TV show, watch Tik-Toks on my phone or just take a nap. I also enjoy spending time with my friends by having a movie night, getting ice cream, or just sitting in a car together and enjoying each other's company. I often go for drives while blasting the music to clear my mind, which is very therapeutic for me. I find that when I do take this time, I come back to studying with a clearer mind, which helps me study more effectively.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    Medical school was a huge adjustment for me. Coming off of five gap years from undergrad and transitioning from working and only taking classes part time to learning so much information in a short period was very stressful for me. I remember crying often, having frequent breakdowns, and calling my friends and parents back home to tell them that I could not do this. I remember going into anatomy lab not knowing where any artery or nerve was and trying to catch up as my lab partners seemed to know everything. Imposter syndrome hit me hard and I thought that I wasn't built for medical school. My grades and my mental health were both suffering because I had never experienced this much academic struggle. I was very close to giving up. Luckily, I made amazing friends at Wayne State who believed in me and got me through it. I eventually met others who were also struggling and started to feel less alone. Having support in medical school is so important and I found that at Wayne State. Even though I faced a lot of challenges, the support I received helped me overcome it.

  • Riaz Nabi

    Riaz Nabi

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I choose Wayne State for Medical School because of schools mission and dedication towards serving the population of Detroit. I grew up in the suburbs around Detroit and was excited to get the chance to make my own impact on such an influential city in our nations history and the people that live in it. With the numerous free clinics associated with WSUSOM, early clinical rotation experience, and countless opportunities to integrate into the community while furthering my medical education, Wayne State offered all I wanted from a medical school. In addition, Detroit offered a lively city with a deep cultural background to live in with a plethora of restaurants and entertainment venues to explore at every corner!

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    Aside from being a Warrior M.D. Ambassador, I also serve as the Director of Operations for the Robert R. Frank Student Run Free Clinic, a Learning Coach for M1s, and a Case Studies Case Developer. Additionally, I did the research elective through which I found research with an emergency medicine physician at DMC.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I enjoy playing soccer, going to the gym, and exploring the multitude of restaurants in Midtown and Downtown. I also really enjoy playing video games and sleeping in when I can. I try and schedule my weeks out so that I will have some time each day to do at least one thing I genuinely enjoy that isn't school related. Additionally, I make sure to keep at least one weekend day free for relaxing and hanging out with friends!

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The best part of my first year was meeting all my new classmates. I was ecstatic to be surrounded by people with such similar interests as me. We have a large class size and each person has their unique backstory and contributes their own experiences to the class. I enjoyed hearing how even with all those different experiences and backgrounds our passions all aligned similarly towards wanting to serve our community and become the best physicians we can! Even with the majority of our classes moving online, I still made a close group of friends who made my first year very enjoyable!

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    The hardest part of beginning medical school was balancing studying with other life activities. It is easy to get caught up in school as there is always something you can be studying or doing, but finding a balance between schoolwork, keeping up with my hobbies, and having fun with my peers was crucial during my transition to medical school. I found that I enjoyed learning more and even performed better in school when I took the time out to dedicate to my hobbies and catch up with friends. Medical school can be overwhelming at first but it is manageable and you can find time for hobbies and a social life!

  • Sam Michalak

    Sam Michalak

    Class of 2024

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    Wayne State School of Medicine has one of the biggest medical school classes in the nation and because of this it has a large amount of student organizations. I decided to come to Wayne because it would be easy to get involved in these different student organizations.

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    In addition to being a warrior M.D. ambassador, I am involved with American Medical Association, the second year learning coach program as well as the gross anatomy Prosector program.

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    Being a medical student is no easy task and taking care of yourself is of upmost importance. One of the biggest things I do for myself is getting a workout in at least 5-6 days a week. For me this normally means going for a run. Running has also been a great way for me to explore Detroit and get to know the surrounding area.

    What was the hardest part of beginning medical school?

    Learning how to study was most definitely the hardest part about starting medical school. My old study habits from undergrad were not at all optimized for medical school and I had to make some big changes. That being said, with time I was able to find strategies that worked well for me and allowed me to do well during my first year.

  • Victoria Kelley

    Victoria Kelley

    Class of 2025

    Why did you choose Wayne State University for medical school?

    I chose Wayne State for its location in the heart of Detroit. There are so many clinical opportunities and unique ways to serve the surrounding community!

    What are some of your extracurricular activities?

    I am on the board of the Robert Frank Student-Run Free Clinic and the Plant-Based Nutrition Group. I also do research in the Office of Women's Health!

    What do you do to support your health and wellness?

    I make time to work out and be outdoors whenever I can! Any time spent with dogs is also great for stress relief.

    What was the best part of your first year of medical school?

    The best part of my first year has been getting to know fellow members of my medical school class! Their insight has helped me learn in more ways than I can count. Whether studying long hours together, providing patient care at the clinic, or exploring Detroit with one another, I feel grateful to be with them!