At last October’s Annual Meeting SAOAO held elections to select an all new board, who will be serving the current medical students for the next year. We would like to thank Bishoy Saad and the immediate past board for their service and leadership, and we look forward to continuing the progress they have made in preparing students for a career in orthopedics. Our goals as a board are to continue providing meaningful experiences for students at conferences, improve communication to the individual chapters, and increase student membership.
In addition to electing a new board, we also enjoyed a Program Director’s panel where students were able to meet with several program directors in a cocktail party-style mingle and ask questions. We want to thank all the Directors who participated and hope they know how helpful that was to all the students in attendance. We would also like to thank all the residents and everyone else that volunteered to assist with our various sessions. I am pleased to present the new slate of student leaders:
I was born and raised in Washington, just south of Seattle. I graduated from Utah Valley University in Exercise Science, which gave me an appreciation for biomechanics and how the body moves and works. I am currently a third-year at Des Moines University. I commissioned in the U.S. Navy during my first year of medical school in 2015 as part of the HPSP scholarship. I am married and have two sons, four years old and almost two years old. My hobbies include playing and watching soccer, golfing, and spending as much time as possible with my family. I also enjoy riding dirt bikes with my dad, but medical school has not permitted much time to enjoy that activity anymore. Prior to medical school I worked in an urgent care facility as a medical assistant and then as an emergency room technician. In these work experiences, I was intrigued by fractures and other injuries that presented. This led me to learning about fracture care and eventually to orthopedics, sparking my interest in the profession.
See Jeffery Gibson in this month’s Member Spotlight.
Anna Roman-Pleschko—Vice President
Anna was born in Poland and raised in suburban Chicago. With a strong athletic background as a former NCAA DI Women’s Soccer athlete at Northern Illinois University, she developed a natural tendency to be drawn to the musculoskeletal system and sports medicine. As an athlete battling the propensity of ligaments and tendons caving under the forces of contact sports, she had ample exposure to orthopedics. Her desire after an athletic career on the field was, and continues to be, to help others get back in the game and increase their active longevity.
Currently, she serves as an OPP pre-doctoral fellow at Nova Southeastern University COM where she is incorporating osteopathic manipulations into patient treatment approaches while learning detailed musculoskeletal anatomy, performing osteopathic and orthopedic research, and teaching the osteopathic principles to the incoming medical students. Her goal as the Vice President of the National SAOAO board is to enhance the mentorship opportunities that exist for current medical students and continue to expand student track options at AOAO meetings.
Karl Swanson—Recruitment Chair
Karl is a third year medical student at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. His primary interest in orthopedic surgery is oncology and trauma. Prior to medical school, he completed a Master of Science in biology with a focus on computational and molecular biology at Rutgers University, which spurred his interest in the specific approaches to oncology. He is also a 2nd Lieutenant of the United States Army Reserves and plans to deploy to serve and care for our injured soldiers. When he is not studying for his COMATs, or rounding in the hospital, he enjoys doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He used to compete in mixed martial arts cage fighting events and still competes in grappling tournaments. He hopes to compete in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu throughout his career and life.
Daniel Arias—Conference Chair
Daniel’s interest in orthopedic surgery began in high school when he shadowed his high school’s team orthopedist. At the time, he enjoyed the field because of the power tools and the definitive nature of the fixations. This appealed to him because of the carpentry work he enjoyed doing with his father. Participating in biomechanics research in the School of Kinesiology at Auburn University, he was able to delve into the understanding of the musculoskeletal system and how structure relates to pathology, solidifying his interest in orthopedics. As a second year medical student at Nova Southeastern University, he is working toward promoting research that develops osteopathic orthopedics with the goal of optimizing patient outcomes through preventative care, minimizing impact of invasive approaches, and improving postoperative care. Apart from school, he enjoys spear fishing, the outdoors, trying new foods, watching and playing sports, and listening to all kinds of music at an unreasonable volume.
Krystal is a third year medical student at Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her interest in orthopedic surgery stems from witnessing many brutal musculoskeletal injuries while playing rugby and football. Following her exposure to these injuries, she shadowed during a TKA in high school and instantaneously her career aspirations were solidified. She intends to further explore the fields of trauma and sports medicine, both of which she is considering for a post-surgical fellowship. Sports continues to be a centerpiece of her spare time. She enjoys weightlifting, boxing, and watching football.
An MSII at Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic medicine, Jake looks forward to fulfilling his new board roll to the best of his ability. He is originally from Utah, but moved to Oklahoma for medical school. His interest in orthopedics started in undergraduate school through classes as an athletic therapy major. He is fascinated with the interplay between biomechanics and performance/quality of life, and has enjoyed experiencing the improvement in quality of life given to patients by the orthopedic surgeons with whom he has worked. His current research focuses on evidence-based medicine and improving transparency and methodological quality in orthopedic research.