Two Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine alumnae have been named Co-Chief Residents at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.
OUWB alumnae named co-chief residents at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
Bartlett, Millstead named co-chief residents in Grand Rapids.
Jenna Millstead (right) and Deidre Bartlett — both OUWB Class of 2017 — will lead 60 residents for a year starting next summer at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Both are currently third-year residents at the hospital.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Two Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine alumnae have been named Co-Chief Residents at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Jenna Millstead and Deidre Bartlett — both OUWB Class of 2017 — will lead 60 residents for a year starting next summer. Both are currently third-year residents at the hospital.

“We’re excited to see that a lot of our friends that also went into pediatrics are now (chief residents),” Barlett said of OUWB’s Class of 2017. “We’re pretty proud of them.”

Bartlett, originally from Midland, Michigan, earned an undergraduate degree from Notre Dame University.

Millstead is from southeast Michigan and did her undergrad at Michigan State University.

Though they will share the title of co-chief residents at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, their respective paths to pediatrics have been very different.

Millstead said her interest in pediatrics grew during her schooling at OUWB.

“One of my biggest things was I was afraid to pick up babies, which is, kind of a prerequisite to being a pediatrician,” she said with a laugh. “But what I did at OUWB was make a conscientious effort to take on more opportunities to be around babies and be around kids because I really love the personalities (of the patients) in pediatrics.”

Millstead said those efforts included an extra rotation on NICU (newborn intensive care unit), among other things.

By comparison, Bartlett is the oldest of four siblings in her family, and said she “spent a lot of time teaching and babysitting.”

“I went into med school thinking I did want to go into pediatrics, and solidified that in my rotation,” she said. “I loved the pediatric rotation for our third year at OUWB. I thought the residents were great teachers, I thought we learned so much.”

Bartlett said the exposure to the children during that time was “very helpful in making sure I still liked pediatrics.” She, too, took on an extra rotation dealing with children (Pediatrics ICU).

Both said they benefited from the close relationship between OUWB and Beaumont Health.

“Our hospital exposure and experiences were incredibly useful,” Bartlett said, adding the training helped them feel more comfortable.

“We felt incredibly prepared to start our residency and succeed,” she said. “I think that’s true of every OUWB graduate.”

Millstead added that feeling of being prepared can go a long way in finding success as a doctor.

“That gives you a bit of confidence so you’re willing to ask for more opportunities,” she said.

‘In the right place’

Bartlett, Millstead named co-chief residents in Grand Rapids, starting in 2020.About a month after graduating from OUWB in May 2017, they started their residencies at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Millstead said she was “elated” when she found out she had matched at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital because it was her top choice.

However, her excitement turned to a bit of nervousness — or “terror” as she puts it — when she started.

“I started on the floor — the patient side — which is a little more chaotic, a lot more to do, a little bit steeper of a learning curve, than if you start out on an elective rotation” she said.

However, Millstead recalls seeing a poster in the break room about what it means to be brand new, and “that we were being welcomed.”

“That solidified with me that we were in the right place,” she said.

Millstead and Bartlett will graduate from the residency program next June and begin in their roles as co-chief residents in July.

The process of being named chief resident is part nomination, part application, Millstead said.

In short, potential chief residents are nominated by peers, program directors, or other administrators. They are then informed of the nomination and asked if they’d like to formally apply.

Millstead and Bartlett found out they were chosen as co-chief residents when their program director pulled them out of a morning report to tell them “because she couldn’t hold that in anymore.”

“She said ‘Are you guys interested? Will you accept?’” Millstead said.

“We said ‘Yes,’’ they both said at the same time with a laugh.

‘Sense of collegiality’

Bartlett said she and Millstead are excited to be co-chief residents having known each other from the time they started at OUWB.

As chief residents, Millstead said their day-to-day activities will be “a combination of a little bit more behind the scenes work where we are working with the residents and scheduling and addressing issues as they come up, but there’s some clinical pieces to it, too, where we fill in for people who are sick or otherwise out.”

Bartlett added that they will also be more involved in medical student education.

At the end of the year, Bartlett said she hopes to “learn a lot about the administration side of things.”

“How to negotiate and discuss the kind of things that keep residencies running and help keep programs running well,” she said. “What we would right now call behind-the-scenes part of work.”

Millstead said with that knowledge, it will help them decide how much of it they might want to include in their careers.

“Up to this point, everything’s been clinical,” she said. “It’s just a lot of repetition, practicing, learning. We don’t get to see the other piece — the inner workings.”

Both say that their time at OUWB prepared them to be co-chief residents — and for whatever happens after.

Millstead said she is strongly considering a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology, and also looking at the possibility of being involved with administration. Bartlett said she is debating between pediatric cardiology and pediatric nephrology

“One thing that was strong about OUWB was there was such a sense of collegiality. We really knew each other,” Millstead said. “There are a lot of people who graduate med school and don’t know their peers. We knew each other incredibly well.”

Bartlett said that the residency at Children’s Hospital has a feel similar to OUWB in that there is a certain level of community and support.

“If you would ask anyone in our class, that OUWB family feel was incredibly important to everyone,” she said. “You walked into your classes you could really sit down and talk, have a conversation, see how they’re doing…you actually know them.”

Bartlett added that the sense of community lives on well-beyond commencement day for graduates of OUWB.

“I feel like we could still reach out to anyone from our class and ask advice and they’d be happy to answer,” she said.

Learn more about Bartlett and Millstead in a video at .

For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, marketing writer, OUWB, at [email protected]

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