Nathan Wright, OMS III at Midwestern University AZCOM Wins $15,000 Founders' Scholarship from TOMF

February 20, 2023

Meet Nathan Wright, a third year medical student at Midwestern University-AZCOM and winner of a $15,000 Founders' Scholarship from Tucson Osteopathic Medical Foundation!

Nathan Wright and Family

Having grown up in the Gila Valley since only a few months old, I find pride in being a native of Southeastern Arizona. School, church, Boy Scouts, and other activities formed a significant part of my youth, through which I met, worked with, and learned from countless amazing people. After graduating high school and working on cotton farms across Southern Arizona, I served a Spanish-speaking mission for my church in Oregon for two years. I later graduated from Brigham Young University, married my wife Breeze, and began my medical training at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University. During my first year of school my wife and I celebrated the arrival of our daughter Grace, who is now approaching two years of age.

During my time at Midwestern, I have had many opportunities to succeed. Not only have I done well in academics, I have also made an effort to be active in extracurricular activities and research. This past year I served as President of the Medical Spanish Club in which I helped organize workshops for Midwestern students to practice language skills to use in clinical settings. I also had the amazing opportunity to work as an anatomy TA, instructing students in both a human cadaver lab and leading classroom instruction. Research has also formed an important part of my medical education, participating in projects focused on COVID-19 outcomes as well as a case study about post-cataract surgery complications.

Where do you consider home to be?
Thatcher, AZ

What do you love about the Southwest?
The great climate, the beauty and variety of the natural landscapes, amazing Mexican food, and the many incredible people I have had the pleasure of knowing while growing up and living here.

What is your favorite thing to do in your (very limited!) free time?
Spending time with my two favorite girls in the world, my amazing wife Breeze and beautiful daughter Grace, whether that be out hiking, visiting family, or just going on walks around the neighborhood.

How did you discover you wanted a career in medicine?
Long story short, I came to a crossroads in my undergraduate training in which I was at a loss of what I wanted to pursue as a career. After taking an inventory of my values, talents, and personality characteristics, I decided I wanted a profession in which I worked closely with people to help them with their challenges. Looking no further than the example of my own physician father, I saw a career that could help me do just that. As I then began my pre-med course requirements, I found a passion for the sciences that helped convince me more that medicine would be the path I would take.

Who has been the most influential person throughout your journey as a medical student?
The most influential person by far has been my wife Breeze. I could not have made it thus far without her support and love.

Which specialty do you plan to practice?
Among several specialties, psychiatry has been one at the forefront of my mind. Working with people experiencing significant emotional and behavioral challenges has been one of the most rewarding parts of my medical training, and I would like to continue to do so as part of my future practice.

What advice would you give to someone considering medicine as a career?
Shadow and speak with as many physicians as you possibly can! Nobody and nothing will grant you a closer look to the practice of medicine than seeing for yourself and speaking with those who live it.

What is the most interesting thing you've discovered so far in your medical training?
The incredible importance of preventative care and the formation of healthy habits, including diet, exercise, and emotional wellness. These efforts not only can help prevent so many complications, but should also be used and encouraged as necessary parts of treatment plans.

What excites you about becoming a physician?
I look forward to the opportunity to form connections with patients and help them live more healthy and fulfilling lives!

What led you to pursue osteopathic medicine as opposed to allopathic medicine?
The holistic and humanistic philosophy of osteopathic medicine was such an appeal to me. Additionally, the training we receive in osteopathic manipulative treatment provides extra tools to help restore people's health.

What do you think the future of medicine looks like?
As our society becomes more technologically advanced, so will medicine. I believe artificial intelligence will form an important component of medicine in terms of diagnosis and will help physicians deliver improved care.

How has COVID-19 impacted your training?
COVID-19 definitely provided its challenges in my training, but also its own learning opportunities. I began medical school during the height of the pandemic and was limited in the contact I had with my fellow classmates, but now have formed friendships and connections with many of them in the following years. Having experienced the pandemic during my medical training has also presented the opportunity to learn more about the role of public health initiatives and programs in addressing healthcare challenges.

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