Q&A: Joey Solomon, M2, and president of OUWB Medical Student Government
An image of Joey Solomon
Joey Solomon, M2, president of OUWB Medical Student Government for 2023-23, addresses members of the Class of 2027 during orientation.

Second-year medical student Joey Solomon makes it a habit of going the extra mile, and one of the best examples is serving as president of OUWB’s Medical Student Government for 2023-24.

Simply put, Solomon, who served as an M1 senator last year, says his role with the governing body allows him to advocate for others in the school — “a great way to be able to be a voice for people and provide support.”

It’s a role that comes easy for the self-described extrovert who views the position as a “natural fit” for him.

“Once I got into (medical student government) and saw everything that they’re able to do — how they’re able to advocate for the medical school as a whole — I thought that was something that I could really use my background and skills to help accomplish,” says Solomon.

“I feel very strongly about OUWB and its community and I want to help cherish and protect it,” he adds.

As the school year recently started, Solomon took some time to talk about his background, why he’s going into medicine, what he hopes to accomplish as president of OUWB Medical Student Government (MSG), and more.

Where did you grow up, and where did you go for your undergraduate degree?

I grew up in Shelby Township, and went to an international baccalaureate school, which helped me become well-rounded. I enjoyed English, writing, history, and math. I went to the University of Michigan for mechanical engineering.

You were part of the University of Michigan Cheer Team, which cheers at all home football, and men’s and women’s basketball games. Why did you want to be part of the squad, and what did you take away from the experience?

I cheered all four years and was captain for two-and-a-half. I joined the team because they offered priority scheduling for classes, which I thought was a good perk, but then it seemed like a nice little family to have at school. It was great because it gave me a lot of opportunities. We did a lot of community outreach, too. It was a good way to teach me time management, but also to be a cheerleader for other people.

An image of the 2023-24 OUWB MSG boardAn image of the 2023-24 OUWB MSG board

The 2023-23 OUWB MSG Executive Board. Top, from left, Solomon, and Sahana Shankar, vice president. Bottom, from left, Maddie McClune, secretary, and Merzia Subhan, treasurer.

When did you decide you wanted to be a doctor?

As an undergrad, I had two summer internships (for engineering) that I didn’t necessarily like what I was doing. Going into my senior year, I decided I wanted to go to med school. I applied to a postbaccalaureate program and did that the first year of Covid and worked as a nurse’s assistant on a Covid floor and as a scribe in a neurologist’s office. Those are two very impactful things that affirmed I was doing the right thing by going into the medical field…just interacting with patients and being able to help was very meaningful to me.

Why did you decide to attend OUWB?

OUWB was my top choice because it’s close to home. Also, I really liked the campus and after my interview day, I just fell in love with the environment, the community, all the people…they just make you feel like you were important and not just another person coming through. I also like (Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital).

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What’s your experience at OUWB been like so far?

Our class is very close. It feels like everybody cares about one another. We’re a support system and I’ve met some of my closest friends through OUWB. Having those relationships through medical school is really important. I think without that, it’s a totally different outcome. OUWB changed me more than I would have thought because I can already look back and be like, “Wow, look how strong you are and what you did.” I think a lot of it is because all the faculty, staff, and anyone else you talk to really want the best for you.

What did you learn from your experience as an M1 senator?

You sit in these meetings and see deans come in and how much they’re advocating for us, or taking our concerns seriously, even if it seems like something small…it’s big for us because we’re doing it every day. They’re really supportive…and when students use their voices, there’s a lot more that we can push for to make happen because we have that support.

Why did you want to be MSG president this year?

A lot of times people are very passionate about certain issues, and I feel like I have a good way of identifying who needs to be involved and what can be done. I like being able to organize a team and work with the team to hear people’s voices…to hear all perspectives of a conversation, mediate, and then move forward with different possible solutions.

What goals did you set in your role as president?

One big issue is library hours. I’d like them to consider 24/7 access because some people don’t have a quiet place at home to study and there are only a certain number of rooms in O’Dowd. Another initiative I want to see happen is more integration and fostering of relationships with the other health sciences at OU…the physical therapist school, the nursing program, the physician assistant program. Right now, there’s a lot of division between the different schools. And then also making sure that the next class has the same sense of support and community that we feel.

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

To request an interview, visit the OUWB Communications & Marketing webpage.

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