Emily Taylor Rom is a fourth-year medical student, attending Midwestern University – Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. She hails from beautiful Alaska, and is the recipient of the Alaska Osteopathic Medical Association scholarship.
Robert Lada MD, had this to say about Emily, “Emily has a history of educating others as demonstrated through her work at the University of Alaska, Anchorage as an adjunct instructor for anatomy and physiology. Not only is she a competitive athlete she has been a coach and instructor for all levels of alpine skiing. Through this, she understands the importance of developing a knowledge base to teach effectively. She is a self-motivated individual demonstrated by her initiation of this rotation. There is only a handful of students who are willing to take the time and effort to develop their own rotation in neurology to gain a greater understanding of this discipline. Those who do, are richly rewarded.
Her professionalism and refined communication skills were immediately evident. She was able to quickly establish excellent rapport with others in the hospital and at the clinic and more importantly with the patients. I was able to observe her both in the inpatient and outpatient settings, where we were able to cover a significant amount of neurology both in the emergency setting as well as aspects of chronic disease management and prevention. Emily was able to demonstrate that she can quickly grasp complex concepts and her inquisitive nature was seen with frequent follow-up questions. She is one of the top students that I have had the privilege of working with.”
Student Doctor Rom tells us “I went undiagnosed with a temporal lobe brain tumor for 15 years while my symptoms were often misunderstood or simply disregarded. A stomachache here and headache there was confused for stress and fatigue. I experienced daily absence seizures for nearly a decade and yet my symptoms were deemed unrelated and were persistently overlooked. It wasn’t until an osteopathic internist connected the moodiness of my teenage mind to the somatic symptoms of my body that I received an answer for my daily lapses in consciousness. The premise that mind, body, and spirit were intertwined offered answers to my childhood illness.
“I aspire to offer care to the complete person as an osteopathic physician. I now strive to view my patients as whole humans and hope to find the connections between stomachaches and headaches. All the while attending to their emotional and spiritual needs.
“I have long enjoyed community engagement and strive to uplift underserved communities. Each year I celebrate my “Cancerversary,” the anniversary of my tumor resection, by completing two activities. The first is an activity to step outside my comfort zone and continue my personal growth through hard work and struggles. The second is a project to benefit those in need and give back to the community that supported me. “This tradition began by obtaining a community grant to publish “The Alaskan Coloring Book,” copies of which were donated to Seattle Children’s Hospital to be given to Alaskan children while undergoing medical care away from the comforts of their home. Other projects included a book drive for Alaskan women and children seeking safety from abuse at AWAIC, a local shelter, as well as a concert featuring Denali Cooks, a local Alaskan band, benefiting the Anchorage Planned Parenthood clinic.
“Throughout medical school, I have continued this tradition. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I organized a blood drive. Upon moving to Chicago for my clinical years of medical school, I became involved with Habitat for Humanity and have enjoyed building homes in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods. Currently, I am leading a project with students and medical organizations in support of Ukraine for medical supplies and monetary donations.”
Emily, your life has presented you with many challenges that would have stopped others from reaching their goals. Your ability to keep reaching for the stars and being of service to others is commendable. The Foundation looks forward to working with you in the future and we will be excited to see where life takes you! Job well done.