A day in the life of an OUWB student

It’s a beautiful day to learn how to save lives


Nicole Morsfield

Kala Seawright explains life as an OUWB student, from studying to making connections with classmates.

When walking onto the second floor of O’Dowd Hall, it’s not hard to tell that something is different.

The students look older, and many of them are dressed like professors. These students often travel in packs, and disappear into rooms that their ID cards unlock for them. They spend four years of their lives learning all about the human body and what makes it tick. Most of their days are spent studying, it is all worth it because someday, they will know how to save a life.

The coolest part? It all happens right here on campus.

The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine started in 2008 after approval from both Oakland’s Board of Trustees and Beaumont Hospital’s Board of Directors. Since then, the goal of the school is to promote top-notch patient care and to guide its students through a “liberal arts medical education.” In other words, the school strives to turn students into doctors in a more holistic way; as opposed to just throwing facts at the students all day. As early as their second year, the students start working in hospitals through a clinical program.

Some of them want to be surgeons, and some of them want to go into family medicine; But, they all go through the same rigorous process that comes with learning how to hold a life in your hands.

“Med school is a lifestyle change,” said Kala Seawright, a first year student at the OUWB. “We’ve all worked hard, but this is like committing your entire life to studying for a while.”

Seawright is part of OUWB’s largest class so far. This class has 11 students who got their undergraduate degrees from Oakland— the most the school has ever had. She says she feels like she has a bit of an edge because Oakland has been her home for the last four years.

“It’s not all new for me,” Seawright said. “I can continue to strengthen the relationships I have been building here. I also love getting to know the people that I have just been seeing in passing for all these years.”

Although she had old friends she says that her classmates have become like a family.

“We all go out together and have fun on the weekends (obviously not too much fun because we still have to study).” she joked. “It is a lot of studying, but [our professors] also tell us to go out and enjoy life.”

Seawright said she enjoys all of the togetherness.

“We all follow the same schedule for our specific years,” she said. “We interact with older students when it comes to tutoring, events and things of that nature, but the class of 2021 is together all the time. We are all best friends. I can already pick out people after just six weeks that I know are going to be lifelong friends.”

Her classmates have a wide range of topics. Seawright has her eye on surgery, though she isn’t sure what specialty yet. She says that her class ranges from aspiring surgeons to students who want to work in pathology. That decision largely takes place when they get out of the classroom and get immersed in residency.

Third year students decide where they would like to work and then spend a part the third fourth year applying to and interviewing at different places of medicine around the country.

All of the hard work accumulates to the third Friday in March, known to med students all around the country as “Match Day.” Students find out where they’ve been placed for residency. It is, for many students, the moment they spend their time in higher education working toward.

“There are a lot of tears of joy on that day,” said Michele Jasukaitis, the manager of communications and marketing for OUWB.

Jasukaitis said that OUWB boasts a good match rate with most if not all of its students finding an institution to work for. During the school’s life span, 202 alumni have matched to institutions and are spread across 35 states. Seawright doesn’t have the slightest idea where she’d like to match right now, but she’s looking forward to figuring it out.