December 30, 2021
By Jason Swackhamer
How did SVSU help prepare you?
"Coming into college it wasn’t even really on my radar that I would have what it takes to conquer the journey to becoming a physician. My classes at SVSU challenged me to go outside my comfort zone and work hard and diligently. After a few semesters, I started to consider going to medical school, and at this point, my confidence had matured and I was starting to get a real glimpse into my potential."
Throughout your undergraduate experience, was there anyone that inspired you or that made a profound impact on you?
"There truly are countless people I could thank from my time at SVSU that helped me along my journey. The one that sticks out the most is Heidi Lang. Heidi started as SVSU’s premed advisor during my second year, a time when I was ready for the challenge of getting to medical school but not sure where to start. After just one meeting with Heidi, we started to form a tangible game plan tailored to my specific circumstances and goals. You have to walk every step on this journey but Heidi is there every step of the way to make sure your compass is properly calibrated. She’s a rockstar! To any Cardinal considering a career in the healthcare industry, go meet Heidi if you haven’t already!"
What was your SVSU experience?
"The smaller classroom sizes allowed me to build strong relationships with my peers as well as my professors. Classmates quickly became friends and we were able to push each other toward our individual goals through our similar paths. Professors were approachable and eager to help. Believe me, I had my professor’s office hours memorized by the end of the semester.
I was born and raised in Saginaw and staying close to home for college allowed for me to continue being active in my hometown while also expanding my horizons and allowing for me to join a new community at the same time. I built many friendships that I cherish to this day and still was afforded the opportunity to pop in for a quick lunch with my grandparents from time to time. Staying close to family was very important to me and SVSU allowed me to do so while still feeling immersed in a university experience."
Did you have obstacles throughout your journey?
"Indecisiveness in deciding on the career path that was best for me. I was pretty sure I wanted to go into the medical field but didn’t know exactly which direction within it. Being a member of the Health Professions Association (HPA) group allowed me to form connections with other students also considering careers within the healthcare field. It was great to not feel alone in the exciting, yet daunting career exploration stage of my journey."
What are you most proud of?
"Keeping balance throughout my journey. Becoming a physician requires an exhaustive amount of energy that must be sustained day in and day out. My time at SVSU helped me hone my skills with time management and multitasking. These skills have proven vital in my ability to continue to grow as a resident physician while also striving to remain the best family member and friend that I can be."
"From day one, I knew that Kyle had what it takes to succeed in medical school and more importantly as a physician. During his SVSU undergraduate years, he worked with at-risk, inner-city youth and also developmentally disabled challenged adults – in both instances teaching them how to work in community employment; he was a role model, mentor, and positive advocate. In addition, he volunteered with a football coaching program, Star-Studded Elite, for Saginaw youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.
To this day, Kyle lights up when he talks about his involvement with each of the programs from his undergrad years. He simply has a knack for connecting with individuals from all backgrounds and all walks of life. He has the uncanny ability to put others at ease and is very genuine in his care and concern for their well-being. He spent several years working with a local soup kitchen as a way to give back to his hometown community. When done serving the meals, Kyle often sat with the clients receiving the meals as he wanted to get to know them as people. Time and time again, Kyle shows how he cares about others and their welfare.
It was no surprise to me that Kyle was accepted to MSU’s College of Human Medicine through the Early Assurance Pathway in 2016. At the time of application, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, he had great strength of character, strong interpersonal skills, and a maturity that belied his age. I was confident he would make a great physician and would be an asset to the community in which he chooses to live and practice. I love seeing him soar at Mary Free Bed, undoubtedly making a positive impact much as he did while with us."