They are getting the well-deserved and important on-the-job training they’ve been studying and preparing for. This next step for Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine students Ryan Fernandes ‘25 and Eric Lakomek ’25 means their dreams are reality. “I’m really looking forward to furthering my clinical skills while helping an underserved community at the same time. I’m also hoping to learn if the family practice is a specialty I fit well in,” said Ryan Fernandes ’25. Fernandes says his classes and training with Marian's College of Osteopathic Medicine made him feel confident and comfortable. The students are the first from Marian University to join HealthLinc’s Community Health Centers which assist underserved communities. They’ll work with providers in Michigan City, East Chicago, and Valparaiso and tackle quality measures.
“The summer between the first and second years of medical school is a critical time for students to learn more about healthcare,” said the College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Assistant Dean of Clinical Affairs Clif Knight, MD, CPE, FAAFP. “This new connection to HealthLinc is an important opportunity for the College of Osteopathic Medicine students to better understand the functions of a community health center, and appreciate the importance that the center has for the health of the population they serve,” he added.
HealthLinc staff is thrilled to have Marian’s medical students for 10 weeks this summer. They’re also working on a family medicine residency program. “We know there’s a high rate of Marian medical students who want to specialize in primary care, and we want to attract those highly skilled students, said Beth Wrobel, HealthLinc’s chief executive officer. Assistant Dean Clif Knight, MD, CPE, FAAFP agrees. “We are hopeful that the connection between the College of Osteopathic Medicine and HealthLinc will continue growing over the next few years.”
“It’s a win-win situation,” Eric Lakomek ’25 said. It’s really about working with the community, actually being in a medical setting is more valuable than just reading about practices. I’m just really excited to start working and making a difference wherever I can.”