Today@Sam Article

Student Doctors Lead On National Stage

Nov. 15, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd

Patrick Smith, Monzer Alatrach and Matt Mackler represented Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents and the Student Osteopathic Medical Association Foundation.By Luanne Brownd

Student doctors Patrick Smith and Matt Mackler represented Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (SHSU-COM) at the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP) during the Osteopathic Medical Education Conference (OMED) in Orlando held in early October. As SHSU-COM Osteopathic Student Government Association’s elected president and vice-president, they worked to bring national resources to bear for fellow students and reported on their medical school’s strong student affairs support and the initiative to offer mental health resources to student doctors. The duo garnered “Best Dressed” accolades, wearing SHSU orange ties during their General Council school report where they emphasized comradery, culture and community.

“Every year, OMED brings together osteopathic physicians, students and vendors to not only provide continuing medical education but to give folks a chance to network and build relationships. I was able to meet with a few residency directors and make friendships with students at other osteopathic medical schools from across the country,” Smith said. “Conversations about specialty, licensing and the journey through medicine were both enlightening and inspiring, showing me that this community of medical professionals truly cares about helping students succeed.” 

Smith received the COSGP General Council Most Powerful Voice and Most Influential Speaker Awards following his PowerTalk about the importance of making his journey and medicine personal. He spoke of his background and the challenges that have brought him to the place he is supposed to be. Smith rounded out his OMED, Orlando experience by proposing to his fiancé, Taylor, at Disney’s EPCOT Park amidst his greater osteopathic family.

Student doctor Monzer Alatrach was appointed the 2024-2026 chairperson for the Student Osteopathic Medical Association Foundation (SOMAF), a student-managed organization that specializes in providing scholarships for current osteopathic medical students who are members of the parent National SOMA organization. As chapter leader/president of SHSU-COM SOMA, Alatrach was invited to interview for the leadership role with the SOMA Foundation Board.

“As chairperson, I will act as the executive for the SOMA Foundation and all its operations and activities including coordinating the board of directors to execute tasks and projects, and I will oversee operations like the scholarship and grant cycle,” Alatrach said.

SOMAF conducts fundraising and public relations efforts with various professional organizations to support osteopathic medical students with opportunities for career and professional development in addition to the financial assistance programs.

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