Maxwell M. Crow, OMS III at Midwestern University-AZCOM Awarded $5,000 Founders' Scholarship

February 24, 2021

Maxwell Crow, OMS III Awarded $5,000 Founders' Scholarship

Student Doctor Crow was born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan and attended the University of Michigan. He grew up loving to play ice hockey and skiing, both of which he continues to do today. At Midwestern University Maxwell was awarded the Kenneth A. Suarez Research Scholarship and was lucky enough to be a part of Dr. Ashlesh Murthy's team studying the infectious process of Chlamydia. Outside of the classroom, he has been a writer for the campus newsletter, The Pulse, for the last two years and joined his Class Council as the liaison for the Tucson rotation cohort last year.

Where do you consider home to be?
I am from Grosse Pointe, Michigan which spans the northeast border of Detroit.

What do you love about the Southwest?
I love the sun! It is something I did not get nearly as much of while in Michigan and it allows me to do some of my favorite things such as golfing, hiking, and swimming. It has been a blast to visit all of the different places in Arizona including Tucson, Scottsdale, Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona and the Grand Canyon. They each have their own unique cultures and I have enjoyed getting to experience it all.

What is your favorite thing to do in your (very limited!) free time?
My two favorite activities include skiing and playing ice hockey and, believe it or not, I have been able to do both while living in Arizona. Although the hockey league in Tucson is currently on hold, I have been able to play in some great leagues in both Peoria and Prescott over the last few years. As for skiing, I have gotten out to Flagstaff a couple of times in addition to going on ski trips to Aspen, Park City, and Lake Tahoe with my family and friends over the years.

How did you discover you wanted a career in medicine?
I come from a family that has a history in the medical field, so it was something I considered beginning at a young age. Throughout my journey I did think about switching my career choice to one that had a less demanding path, but I simply loved learning about medicine too much. Although the hours were long, most of the time studying would fly by because the information was so interesting. Working in the hospital has reaffirmed my passion for medicine and I love spending every day working with patients and receiving a hands-on education.

Who has been the most influential person throughout your journey as a medical student?
My grandfather, Roger Meyer, was an ophthalmologist at the University of Michigan and he began teaching me about medicine at a very young age. There were days when my mother needed somebody to look after me while she was at work so he would bring me into clinic with him. Grandpa Roger was, and still is, very involved in my development and we have spent countless hours discussing the marvels of medicine. He has definitely fueled my passion for the field.

Which specialty do you plan to practice?
I am pursuing a career in anesthesiology. I have always had an interest in pharmacology and physiology as well as an affinity for the operating room so I believe it will be a good fit for me. I look forward to discovering ways to utilize the osteopathic principles I have learned over the years in a more non-traditional way. I strongly believe there is a place for manipulative techniques in the pre- and post-operative setting.

What advice would you give to someone considering medicine as a career?
My advice is to do your homework and to find a good mentor. The application process is confusing and challenging and I do not think it is ever too early to start preparing once you begin your undergraduate degree. It is important to find activities and programs that you are passionate about instead of checking boxes that you think programs are looking for. I believe getting involved in research is a great way to quantitatively demonstrate where your interests lie as well as teach important skills a physician must have, specifically an attention to detail. I encourage students to find an advisor or someone on faculty that knows the application process and can help guide them in the right direction.

What is the most interesting thing you've discovered so far in your medical training?
What interests me most is the wealth of knowledge that physicians have at their disposal combined with a non-stop commitment to further development. During my time in the hospital this year I have learned dozens of procedures and tests that we have been using for decades because they work so well. On the other hand, I was just introduced to the da Vinci Surgical System that is performing robot assisted laparotomies and other procedures! Every sub-specialty of medicine is adding new instruments to their toolbox and it amazes me. From Dr. Papanikolaou's Pap smear invented in the 1920s to the ultrasound FAST exam that is only a few decades old, physicians are constantly developing new ways to improve their already stellar ability to diagnose and treat patients.

What excites you about becoming a physician?
I am excited to be involved in treating patients. I look forward to coming home from work knowing that I contributed to my community. A career in medicine is rare in that you can see your hard work pay off and know that you are helping someone in need.

What led you to pursue osteopathic medicine as opposed to allopathic medicine?
Simply that a degree in osteopathic medicine afforded me the opportunity to learn more about the musculoskeletal system. I appreciated the extra hours of lecture that were dedicated to how the body functions, the type of wear and tear it must withstand every given day, and ways to treat these nagging and insidious injuries that are too often overlooked in medicine.

What do you think the future of medicine looks like?
The future of medicine is going to require physicians to further develop their interpersonal skills. The introduction of the internet has been a wonderful tool, but it can also be used as a vehicle of misinformation. It may be more difficult in the coming years to gain the patient's trust due to content they are exposed to through social media, email, and when they forget to turn ad-blocker on. Physicians will have to be patient and understanding when confronting these issues and focus on ways to inform rather than insult those that come to them.

How has COVID-19 impacted your training?

Two of my hospital rotations had to take place online at the beginning of this year due to the pandemic. Though this was not ideal, I was able to learn a ton about the virus during my online public health rotation and I continue to find the information I learned very valuable. More interestingly than this is that the pandemic has extremely skewed the type of cases that I have been exposed to as a student. For much of the year students were not permitted to see potential COVID cases. This means that I have seen very few patients that come in with cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Although I believe my education will fill in the holes over time, the pandemic has definitely restricted the types of cases that I am exposed to.

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