A Q&A with Olivia Safady

Second-year medicine student Olivia L. Safady was appointed in June by Gov. Mike DeWine to the NEOMED Board of Trustees as a student-member. She will serve a two-year term that runs through June 29, 2024.

How did your appointment to the Board of Trustees come about?

Halfway into my first year at NEOMED I read an announcement for the open student trustee position and immediately knew it was an opportunity I wanted to apply for. This role is designed for students to represent their peers and ensure the student voice is heard. At this point in my studies, I had integrated myself into the NEOMED community through various leadership roles and found the faculty and administration to be very interested in the student perspective. As I went through the application process I learned more about the role and the dedication of the Board to ensure NEOMED has a strong present and future. I am honored to be appointed as I enter into my second year of medical school!  

What are you looking forward to in this role?

I recently attended a conference and was tasked with determining my top three values. One of these values is partnership, which is one aspect of the student trustee position I am most looking forward to. The Board of Trustees is comprised of members from around the community, which brings multiple perspectives and opportunities to build relationships outside of the medical community. I aspire to practice medicine in northeast Ohio after graduation and continue to stay involved in academic medicine. I look forward to engaging with community members who are invested in the education of future health care leaders! 

What is your biggest goal as a member of the Board?

My main goal as a member of the Board of Trustees is to further develop my advocacy and leadership skills. As an aspiring family physician, I am learning the many levels of advocacy from supporting an individual to engaging in systems-level change. Currently, my first priority is to advocate for my peers and improve the educational experience of NEOMED students by providing input and ideas.  

Are you from northeast Ohio? If yes, what part? If not, where did you grow up? What did you enjoy about your hometown?

I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio! I grew up in Cleveland and moved to a suburb of Cleveland, Olmsted Falls, which is where I graduated high school. My favorite part of my hometown is the small downtown area with local shops and restaurants. Northeast Ohio has always been and will continue to be my home! 

What inspired you to go into medicine?

My main inspiration to pursue a career in medicine comes from my family. My grandmother was a huge inspiration throughout my childhood and contributed to my passion for education. My parents instilled a strong work ethic and provided me opportunities to explore and pursue my interests, which led me to medicine! My drive as a medical student stems from my passion for education, advocacy and working to improve the well-being of my community. I have always been a believer that change is attainable and impactful at the community level. I look forward to one day practicing in an underserved area and working with community leaders to make changes addressing health care policy and health inequities.  

What do you enjoy most about being part of the NEOMED community?

My favorite part of being part of the NEOMED community is the opportunity to engage in activities that align with my interests and future goals. Thus far, I have enjoyed the opportunity to learn about health disparities within our own community, engage with patients in the primary care setting, and begin to network with current health care leaders.

What’s a fun fact that most people may not know about you?

I love watching Broadway shows at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland. I also love shopping at flea markets, so it is convenient that Hartville is so close to campus!

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