Keely Hackett – Montana

Student Doctor Keely Hackett

Keely Lauren Hackett hails from the great state of Montana and is a second-year student at the Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest. She is this years recipient of the Shirley Carpenter Endowment Scholarship scholarship.

Edie Sperling, PT, DPT, OCS told us this, “Keely is a wonderful student and a delightful person. She applied for and was chosen to attend the Intensive Summer Anatomy Course (ISAC) in the summer before her first year of medical school. This program is a daily dissection and anatomy lecture for six weeks. Students that do well are then asked to be Anatomy Teaching Assistants (TAs) for their class during the regular academic year. I could tell right away that not only did Keely have a sharp mind and deep curiosity, but she genuinely cared about helping others learn. As a TA, she has been incredible in helping her fellow students learn anatomy and also addressing their anxiety. Keely is a warm, open, and enthusiastic person, and her genuine compassion has allowed others to be more comfortable and learn better in the anatomy lab. 

“Keely grew up in Montana and plans to return to Montana to practice after school. She specifically chose COMP-NW for her education so that she would be able to stay in the Pacific NW and pursue osteopathic medicine specifically. She tells me that osteopathic medicine lit a flame in her, resonating with what she already felt – that a patient is so much more than the symptoms they present with. She wanted to be trained to see a person’s health as more than what we see in the clinic. 

“Keely is interested in pursuing oncology as a specialty. The choice is very personal. Her brother was diagnosed with leukemia. She told me, ‘As an oncologist, I can walk the difficult journey with a patient; I can’t take away the pain and difficulties, but I can make sure I walk with them hand-in-hand.’ It seems to me that Keely already has an innate understanding of what truly makes an excellent doctor. 

“Keely is passionate about medicine but even more than that she understands the value of being the companion of someone on a difficult journey. I personally, and many of us, would be blessed to have her as our physician.” 

Student Doctor Hackett had this to say to the Foundation, “As a pre-med student and now as a medical student, it was and is so important for me to recognize that I am much more than a student. I am a goofy, outdoorsy, adventurous, and unbashful bad dancer, a Yes-woman, a friend, a sister, a partner, a Social Worker, an animal lover, etc. I mention this because learning the language of medicine can be all-encompassing, yet if I fail to nourish the other parts of what makes me whole, I feel depleted and out of balance. 

“As a future rural doctor of Montana, I want to volunteer in my community in a wide breadth of ways that go beyond the scope of medicine, because I am an eclectic human being with many interests. I foresee myself at the local community garden, helping to grow fresh fruit and vegetables for those in my community experiencing food shortages. I see myself continuing to work with refugees in my community, which is something I did during undergrad and am still very passionate about. If there is a local 5k race or marathon for a cause, expect me at the registration desk to welcome the amazing people who choose to spend their day running for a cause. Did someone say community river park clean up on Earth day? I’m there. 

“Though despite the all-encompassing nature of medical training, I have a profound love for it and would be amiss if I did not volunteer within the scope of healthcare. I received my undergraduate degree in Social Work, and when I started down the pre-medicine track, I loved finding ways to marry the two fields through volunteering. You could find me at the local needle exchange helping to inform needle users how to use safely and what to look out for in determining if a visit to the doctor was warranted. Every year I would follow hundreds of road bikers through mountainous terrane with my medical bag ensuring the safety of the participants who were biking to raise money for children with cancer. 

“Periodically throughout COVID, you would find me spending my mornings on the Crisis Text Line as a text line counselor for those experiencing moments of crisis. In the future, with a whole new toolset in my back pocket, I will continue to combine my passion for serving the underserved with my osteopathic training. Be that through a traveling free clinic delivering care to migrant workers, or helping to create public health programs addressing health disparities within my community. Although no one can tell the future, I can comfortably say that my volunteer CV will continue to be as colorful as I am.”

Keely, the Foundation is so thankful that you intend on giving back to the community, along with serving as their physician.  That is so important and truly the backbone of rural practice.  Your people will know you.  The Foundation looks forward to following your career and working with you in the future.  Job well done.

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