Q&A with Melissa Rudie ’17, 2nd Year Med Student

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Melissa Rudie ’17 has just completed her second year of medical school at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Indiana.

She says, “I am working toward a D.O. (doctor of osteopathic medicine) degree as opposed to M.D. as I believe it is a holistic approach to health and caring for patients, based as it is on the following four tenets:

  1. The body is a unit; the person is a unit of body, mind, and spirit.
  2. The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance.
  3. Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.
  4. Rational treatment is based upon an understanding of the basic principles of body unity, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function.

I asked Melissa several questions and she shared her answers here:

Why did you choose to go to med school?

I have always wanted to change the world in some small way. I believe that when you impact someone’s health and life you change their world.

I want to make a dent in healthcare and help change it for the better. I also want to help bridge the gap between human and animal medicine because I believe we can further medicine and science by creating more conversations and collaborations between human and animal medicine.

How did your undergraduate experience at Antioch benefit your pathway to medical school? 

I have always been interested in working in a healthcare setting whether it be for people or animals. While I was at Antioch, I decided to go the human route. For my second co-op, I volunteered half of my week at the Avian and Exotic Animal Clinic of Indianapolis and half of my week at Hendricks Regional Health (a county hospital). The animal clinic was a teaching clinic and was full of veterinarian students and vet technician students. The vet students learned from the veterinarians, the vet tech students learned for the vet technicians and I learned from any of the students who were willing to teach me. At the county hospital I followed one of two different physicians depending on the day. One was an MD and one was a DO and both of them thought I would be best suited for a DO school if I decided to pursue a medical degree. I also read various articles on when human and animal medicine started to diverge as well as books on the similarities between human and animal medicine. It was during this time that I learned of the One Health Initiative and how they are trying to bridge the gap between human and animal medicine as well as environmental science. I wanted to help increase collaboration between these two sides of medicine for as Rudolf Virchow (father of modern pathology) said,

“Between animal and human medicine, there is no dividing line – nor should there be.”

I realized that it would be easier to encourage collaboration with veterinarians as a physician than it would be to initiate conversations with physicians as a veterinarian. I still hope to learn more about veterinary medicine even though I pursuing a medical degree.

Advice for current students pursuing your path.

A friend of a friend applied four times before they were finally accepted into medical school.

It took me two years before acceptance. (I applied in two different application cycles). I believe the main reason I was accepted was because I completed an additional year in a master’s program (Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine Masters in Biomedical Science). My year in the master’s program allowed me to show medical school administrators that I was able to handle the rigors of medical school academics. I was wait-listed for most of the medical schools I applied to the first year I applied but each school that had a master’s program sent me a link to apply to their master’s degree. Medical schools use certain master’s programs to screen for potential medical school candidates. At Marian University if you can maintain a 3.5 GPA you get an interview with their medical school. So for me, it was very helpful and I fell in love with Marian University when I was in there master’s so after that I didn’t want to go to any other medical school.

So my advice is to keep trying and keep looking into ways to polish up your application to make yourself a more appealing candidate.

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