First-year medicine student Michela Corsi grew up hearing the stories: When her father was young, in Italy, health care was hard to come by and the high cost of medicine sometimes meant going without. The need for health care was so important that it influenced Michela’s diabetic uncle’s decision to move to the United States. So today, this student understands firsthand the need for accessible, affordable care. That’s what she plans to provide as a family physician in Northeast Ohio, serving the rural Plain Local area between Canton and North Canton where she grew up. With much appreciated scholarship assistance from NEOMED, the 21-year-old student is able to pursue the medical career she has dreamed of ever since sixth grade, when a family friend told her about the University.
From her earliest years, when her older sister would hide under the table at the pediatrician’s office to avoid getting a shot, Michela says, "Medicine has never scared me" Quite the opposite. What she remembers from her first hospital experience — having ear tubes removed when she was six years old — is the kindness of the doctors and nurses. (Oh, and the excitement of receiving a puzzle with glitter glue from her parents.)
Michela says she appreciates the supportive atmosphere she has found at NEOMED. Today, one of her two best friends plans to go into surgery, the other into pediatrics. They are rooting each other on for success. "It’s nice that we can support each other in what we do. We’re not really competing," she says.
Michela’s family has always encouraged her. These days, she is cheering on a sister who is studying engineering, a brother in the BS/MD program at Akron and another brother who wants to study science. NEOMED’s mission of training doctors who will improve the standard of health care in the Northeast Ohio community appeals to her: "We’re a close family and have always gathered around to help people" she says.
Her goals as a physician in family practice? "I want to affect the community on a widespread level. My biggest goal is to help people access healthcare—to bring educational programs, vaccination and health awareness to people."
Michela has already had practice. Through the Family Medicine Interest Group, she participated in an event for eighth-graders interested in medical careers: At her station, she taught middle-schoolers about the nervous system. Through the Geriatrics Interest Group, she participated in a Halloween party where she loved the experience of getting to know older people like the patients she may one day serve.
"Everybody has a story. Everybody needs care. It takes a big person to go through medical school and not get a big ego. I’m in it for the people," Corsi says.
As a physician, she says, "You try to guide people in the proper way of taking care of themselves. You’re non-judgmental. I think it’s really cool to help people."