Spotlight on Alumni: Dr. Silvia Caswell – Blogs

Meet Dr Siliva Caswell (DO ’19). Dr Caswell is currently a second-year preventive medicine resident who will serve as chief resident in 2022 while earning a master’s degree in public health at Loma Linda University in California. In this blog post, she shares her journey through medical school and residency as a mother and doctor with a passion for preventive care.

Hometown: Curitiba, Brazil

Degrees obtained:
Associate of Science, General Studies (2009) Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, UT

Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology with Emphasis on Health (2015) University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (2019) Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Buies Creek, North Carolina

pursuing a master’s degree in public health / population medicine (2023) Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA

Hobby: exercise, whole foods, herbal cooking, spending time with the family, playing board games and relaxing at the beach

It was important for me to receive exceptional and technologically advanced medical training from teachers and staff who treated me like family.

Campbell prepared me well for boards and clinical rotations with his corresponding ray exams, and he also provided me with excellent simulated patient experiences in our state-of-the-art simulation labs, preparing me for scenarios. of the real world during my clinical months.

The teachers and staff knew me by name from the first moment I walked through the doors for the interview, until the first day of orientation, and still to this day – they have been like family to me. . The mentorship I received during my years at Campbell, in addition to the networking and engagement opportunities in my career choices, far exceeded my expectations, and I am very happy to have chosen CUSOM for my medical studies.

Why preventive medicine:
My interest in preventive medicine started before medical school, at the start of my 85-pound weight loss journey after the birth of my third child. However, I had no idea that the field existed as a career option until I learned more about the field of lifestyle medicine, and therefore preventive medicine, as a student. in first year medicine.

The leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States are rooted in poor lifestyle behaviors, and after observing how the social determinants of health contribute to the overall health of every patient I have seen in As a medical student it was important to me that the Preventive Medicine program should be addressed at every clinical encounter.

In addition, our current health care system was designed to practice ‘reactive’ medicine, and given the overload of chronic, but preventable, diseases that plague the people of the United States, the system cannot manage to keep up with this rate. from a financial point of view.

After spending my PGY-1 year in my premier family medicine residency program, my passion for prevention was fueled exponentially. I thought my career should be at the forefront of health promotion and disease prevention. As a result, I continued my studies in preventive medicine as a PGY-2 and accepted a place in my premier preventive medicine residency program, located in one of the five blue zones of the world. The focus of Loma Linda University Health’s Preventive Medicine Residency Program on Lifestyle Medicine is unparalleled compared to any other program. The combination of clinical preventive medicine exposure and public health projects and initiatives synergistically align to provide excellent training, while focusing on the well-being of residents and simultaneously improving the lives of individuals at the same time. within the communities we serve.

Tips for current and future medical students:
Applicants for the preventive medicine (PM) residency are required to complete a minimum of PGY-1 before starting a PM program, however, some applicants choose to complete an entirely different specialty before applying to PM. Some training programs across the country focus more on population health than clinical medicine compared to others, therefore, it is important to learn what each program’s curriculum entails. Additionally, preventive medicine is the only area of ​​medicine that requires a master’s degree in public health (MPH) in addition to the 2 years of residency training to pass the American Board of Preventive Medicine certification exam recognized by the ‘American Board of Medical. Specialties (ABMS). Most PM residency programs include MPH training in residency training for those who do not already have an MPH, often 100% free.

Thoughts on your medical education journey:
Although my career path has not been “standard” or “popular”, I am very grateful to be in preventive medicine. It is so different from other specialties because we focus on prevention – the foundation of almost all treatment plans for chronic diseases common in medicine.

My favorite part of this residence is not being on call, wearing a pager, not working nights / holidays / weekends and having time to take care of yourself while preaching these same concepts to patients.

While the addition of the school to the residence sounds terrifying, it is well integrated and doesn’t feel overwhelming like the medical school once was. I was recently elected Chief Resident and look forward to serving my fellow physicians in that capacity.

My career goals include working in public health services, advocating for policy change in public health and medicine, performing clinical work in lifestyle medicine (my program allows for double boarding), to teach medical students and residents within academics, and hopefully someday to work at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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