BVU seniors embark on the future of medical schools


(story by Tim Gallagher)

The University of Buena Vista maintained its strong reputation for advancing students through medical school with the addition of 2022 graduates Molly Barten and Jade Hays, who both earned bachelor’s degrees in biomedical science.

Barten will attend the Indiana University School of Medicine’s Rural Education Program. Hays was admitted to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program at Still University in Kirksville, Missouri.

“Over the past decade-plus, nearly 100 percent of BVU students who have applied to medical school have been admitted,” says Dr. Thom Bonagura, Dean of the BVU School of Science. “Achieving such a high percentage is a testament to the quality of our students, the support they receive from our faculty and staff, and the effort they put in to succeed throughout their undergraduate experience.

Barten, who is originally from Zearing, participated as a junior in BVU’s flagship Undergraduate Rural Medicine Training and Development (URMED) program, an initiative that saw its ghost doctors, physician assistants, nurses and more in an internship through Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm Lake as well as Pocahontas Community Hospital in Pocahontas and Stewart Memorial Hospital in Lake City. She also spent time as a shift assistant with a physical therapist in Nevada, an optometrist in Ames, and a pair of ophthalmologists in Arizona, an experience that confirmed her passion for ophthalmology.

“I also followed Dr. Sabrina Martinez at work in my senior year,” says Barten, referring to a family physician who serves family medicine at the UnityPoint Clinic in Storm Lake. Martinez also completed the URMED program at Buena Vista University.

“Dr. Martinez helped me get a position, where I spent time screening the retinas of diabetic patients at the UnityPoint Family Practice Clinic attached to the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center,” Barten said.

Barten, who will complete four years of medical school and four years of residency after medical school, is looking to become an ophthalmologist.

“A big eye-opening moment happened in my freshman year when we dissected a cow’s eye,” Barten says. “I spoke with Dr. Kristy McClellan (then an associate professor of biology at BVU) and she encouraged me to work towards becoming an ophthalmologist. She made me believe that I could do it. observation set up by BVU made it clear to me that this was the career I wanted.

Barten concluded his academic career at BVU by completing a Specialized Institute research project titled “Motivation for Self-Care in Chronic Diseases: A Systematic Review of the Psychometric Properties of Instruments.” The experiment was funded through support provided by BVU benefactors.

“I had tremendous support throughout my time at BVU,” says Barten, who has served as a Resident Advisor and participated in IMPACT Ministries. She shares an example of support by detailing how Dr. James Hampton, professor emeritus of biology at BVU, helped Barten secure a college scholarship offered by his parents’ church in Florida.

“Dr. Hampton retired two years ago and yet he continues to help the students here,” Barten says. “It shows how much the professors really care about us. number” at BVU. The relationships built here make BVU special.

Barten’s experiments were made possible, in part, by several BVU scholarships and value-added funding sources, including: The J. Leslie Rollins Fellowship, The Henry Olson & Ed Bock Travel Fund, The Dr. Albert F Hirsch Endowed, Howard and Lela Pierce Scholarship Fund and Norman Swanson International Travel and Study Fund.

Jade Hays, a native of Coon Rapids, realized her passion for family medicine through job shadowing experiences at the United Community Health Center in Storm Lake and Stewart Memorial Hospital.

“Observing and connecting with Dr. Derek Duncan at Stewart Memorial and seeing how he serves patients every day made me realize that’s what I wanted to do,” says Hays, who seeks to practice medicine in a community. rural in the future.

Hays was also able to join his academic advisor, Dr. Brittney Dinkel, an assistant professor of biology at BVU, to study E. coli bacteria in a microbiology lab during a summer experiment at the University of Iowa. Hays presented his findings at the end of the experiment, an experiment made possible by BVU value-added funding that comes from generous benefactors.

“The research experience with Dr. Dinkel has been so rewarding,” says Hays. “Dr. Dinkel was the one who pushed me to do my best and then look for a future that included medical school.

Hays’ BVU experience was not limited to academia. Hays captained the volleyball team and earned all-league honors in track and field as part of a 4X100-meter relay unit.

“I was very interested in athletics when I visited BVU,” she says. “And then I walked around and saw this beautiful campus. I still remember how many friendly people said ‘Hi’ to me during my tour. It showed me how great it was. acts as a community at BVU.

Like Barten, Hays has obtained several BVU scholarships and value-added funds that have helped her underwrite and support her experiences, such as: CA Rae Endowed Science Academic Achievement Award, Dr. Daniel L. Wagner MD Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund, Roy J. Carver Scholarship Fund and MidAmerican Energy Foundation Scholarship Fund.

Departing from Hays, she is proud of her BVU experience, a period which prepared her to consider her service to others in the future. “I remember the teachers at the School of Science meeting me and telling me so proudly about their program,” she says. “I found a program and teachers who were all willing to help me grow.”

(Caption: University of Buena Vista graduates Jade Hays, left, and Molly Barten show off their diplomas after receiving them during the 2022 Kickoff Exercise at Siebens Fieldhouse on May 7. The two graduates are heading to medical school)


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