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Highlighting the Heroes: Michigan State Grad Up for $25K Award

Our H.E.R.O. Award -Honoring Excellent Resident Observations – was launched to highlight the personal sacrifices and educational commitment during a medical resident’s professional adult life.  We realize, considering the fast moving changes in healthcare,  how courageous medical residents are to embark upon a career in medicine with such an uncertain future.  This award is our way of recognizing that courage.

We wanted to take a moment to introduce you to our nominees individually:

Medelita The Right Fit

Gwendolyn Reyes

Hurley Medical Center/Michigan State University – Flint, MI
Dr Reyes graduated with glowing honors from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Her medical school experience was full of memorable service, leadership and academic experiences; however, the one factor that made her medical school experience so memorable was her very first clinical encounters with patients. Early in her medical training, she was struck by the trust that her patients had in her abilities. She felt privileged to have the trust of complete strangers; and from that moment on, she vowed to uphold the professional duties of being a physician and to continuously strive to be the best. Like a hand in glove or a white coat on a doctor, Dr Reyes has found the “Right Fit” at Hurley Medical Center’s Pediatric Residency Program. Dr Reyes loves the small size of the program – this allows her to benefit from more one-on-one time with attendings. The program is also very accommodating and supportive, especially for trainees with young families. Dr Reyes amazingly balances her residency schedule with two very small children – Raymond who is an active 4 year old and Lillian who is not even 1 (but she’s already walking!). Most importantly, the program is a “Right Fit” because Dr Reyes is practicing in a severely underserved community. We are grateful that our community has such a competent and caring physician that wants to work with this population during her training and throughout her career. Dr Reyes is interested in a career in pediatrics because she values preventative medicine. She knows that she can make a huge impact on a child’s life through education, support and prevention! One of the most influential experiences that motivated Dr Reyes to go into pediatrics was working with Child Life – these are the professionals that play/distract kids during difficult health care moments. Dr Reyes often worked with children that were recovering from open heart surgery – they had multiple tubes in place and were on many medications. She was motivated to see how quickly these kids just wanted to get back to playing and how resilient they were after going through such a huge procedure. Dr Reyes has over $300,000 in student loan debt. Her loan burden is astronomical. Her loans are exceptionally high because her son was born during medical school which required to her take additional loans to pay for child care. Understandably, due to this loan burden, her family has had to make a lot of personal sacrifices for her to earn her MD degree. Vote for Gwendolyn here. If you know a resident that deserves to be recognized, please nominate your candidate here.