Six OUWB students recognized as outstanding for 2022-23
An image of the outstanding students at OUWB
Top row: Ethan Dimock, Deepali Tailor, Forrest Bohler
Bottom: Madison Saunders, Garrett Peters, Suhani Gupta

Six medical students at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine received the Outstanding Student Award for the 2022-23 school year.

Three M2s and three M3s received the recognition. There were a total number of 17 candidates for the rising M2 year and 10 candidates for the rising M3 year.

M2 students that were named “outstanding” were Forrest Bohler, Deepali Tailor, and Ethan Dimock.

M3 recipients of the award are Garrett Peters, Suhani Gupta, and Madison Saunders.

“Recognizing students’ accomplishments will encourage and motivate them to continue striving for excellence and make significant contributions in their field,” said Varna Taranikanti, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Foundational Medical Studies, and chair for the Student Awards Committee.

“Medical school is a rigorous and demanding journey that requires immense hard work and dedication,” said Taranikanti.

“By awarding students who have shown outstanding academic performance, demonstrated leadership skills, engaged in community service, and who are actively participating and promoting diversity and inclusion, we acknowledge their efforts and dedication to their education, and service to the community.”

‘A standard of excellence’

The Outstanding Student Awards began in 2012 as course awards and has evolved to what it is today.

To determine recipients, the Student Awards Committee uses a rubric. The committee gathers and reviews data obtained from the student nominees related to academic excellence, service, leadership, and activities related to DEI and scholarship.

“The criteria used for selection sends a message to the students that OUWB creates a culture that values diversity, rewards high achievement, and sets a standard of excellence for future medical students to aspire to,” said Taranikanti.

Bohler said he was “shocked and honored” to be named “outstanding.”

“I know how talented my classmates are so just being nominated for the award alongside such gifted peers was an honor,” he added.

Tailor said she was “very humbled to have received this recognition.”

“It made me reflect on how grateful I am to all the wonderful OUWB faculty, staff, and classmates who have accompanied me on this journey so far,” she said.

Gupta said that “receiving this award felt like a testament to the collective efforts and camaraderie that defines the OUWB community.”

“The support of my friends, faculty, and mentors here is the reason I have been able to pursue the things that I am so passionate about,” she added. “I am incredibly proud to be receiving my medical education here.”

Outstanding students give back

The “outstanding” students have been preparing to be future physicians through their time at OUWB and have extended those efforts to include involvement in various extracurricular activities.

Dimock, for instance, represents OUWB statewide as a student ambassador and locally as a class senator. He also volunteers at World Medical Relief and Crowns Against Cancer.

“I have the opportunity to involve myself and give back to the community that has served as a keystone in my growth and maturation,” said Dimock. “These experiences have helped emphasize the importance of lifting voices up and speaking on behalf of people and places that I am proud to represent.”

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Dimock has also served on executive boards for four different on-campus organizations.

Gupta has started a fundraiser campaign called Break the Hunger Food Drive, an annual 24-hour food drive that aims to help families with an increased risk of food security. She also served on the executive board for the Ophthalmology Interest Group and as president of OUWB’s Medical School Government (MSG).

Gupta volunteers at La Casa Amiga Mentoring Program, taking care of the garden at the Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic, the Baldwin Center, and the Oakland University Food Pantry.

Peters took on positions such as president of the Internal Medicine Interest Group and class senator for MSG. He also volunteered at Michigan Adaptive Sports, Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic, and Hope Shelter in Pontiac.

Saunders served as vice president of the Emergency Medicine Interest Group, secretary of the Association of Women Surgeons, treasurer of the American Medical Association, and community outreach chair for Harm Reduction Alliance.

With the help of the American Medical Association, Saunders also established a workshop that aimed to educate Corewell Health physicians about human trafficking and the signs they should look out for. 

“I really do enjoy volunteering,” she added. “I have a passion for medical school and education.”

Bohler helped create the Rural Health Interest Group and currently serves as the president of the organization. He also is the vice president of the Ophthalmology Interest Group and the class representative for the Financial Services Advisory Committee.

Further, Bohler has volunteered at Lighthouse Food Bank and as an Admissions Ambassador for Oakland University.

Tailor mentored premedical students for their medical school applications and tutored them for the MCAT. She is currently the vice president of AMA and is the AMA Medical Student Outreach Program leader for OUWB.

Tailor also volunteered at the Michigan Association of Physicians of Indian Heritage (MAPI) Charitable Clinic, which provides free health care for the South Asian community that doesn’t have health insurance.

“It has been fantastic to be involved with a school where there is so much support to find ways to benefit the community and the ability to get involved in research,” said Tailor.

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

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