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Honors alumnus furthers education in medicine

The application process for medical school can be long, stressful, and time-consuming — especially amidst a global pandemic. But a current D.O. candidate at the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine has made the best of it throughout his time at MSU.

Austin Benedict graduated from the Honors College in May 2020 with a B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in Bioethics. He started his second year of medical school in May 2022.

As an undergraduate, Benedict was active in his community on and off campus.

He was a mentor for the First-Generation Honors Association (FGHA), a member of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), on the MSU Relay for Life senior leadership team, and a member of the MSU Campus Lions Club.

“As a mentor for the Honors College, I met students who were in a very similar position to me when they first came into college — scared, not sure what to do, and still trying to figure everything out,” Benedict said. “It was really great being able to help people find a path that suits them and really help them find advice for their careers, different research opportunities, ideas on what to get involved in, and things like that.”

He was also an intern at the Refugee Development Center in Lansing before COVID-19 forced them to shut down in-person activities.

Benedict took a gap year before pursuing medical school to gain more experience in the field and said this was one of the best decisions he has made for himself.

“I was a dialysis technician during my gap year, and that was a great job. You get to experience so many different aspects of medicine and meet so many different patients,” he said. “The cool thing about that is you have the same patients every week, so it’s not like in the ER where you’ll get a patient and probably never see them again; you really get to build relationships with these people.”

Benedict became involved in research in December 2021, studying how osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) can help enhance the recovery of athletes who sustained a concussion in their sport.

“This is a really cool project because nothing like this has been studied before,” he said. “ We’re at a very early stage of it and only have about 13 participants so far, so we can’t make any definitive conclusions yet, but it looks like the treatment does have a positive effect as of now, so we’re really excited.”

Benedict has also served as a Medical Scribe for Sparrow Hospital, an undergraduate research assistant, and a clinical fellow for Atlantis Global in Italy.

In the future, Benedict hopes to pursue a career doing some type of surgery, possibly as an ENT or orthopedic surgeon.

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