Dec. 18, 2014
Hensley named 2014 OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine Student Doctor of the Year
Third-year medical student Heather Hensley has been selected as the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine 2014 Student Doctor of the Year. The award honors her outstanding leadership, community service and dedication to the osteopathic profession.
“During her time at OSU-COM, Heather has been proven herself to be a remarkable student and an ideal ambassador for our college and profession,” said OSU Center for Health Sciences President Kayse Shrum. “Her passion for medicine, professional advocacy efforts on the state and national level and desire to help and teach others will help Heather become an outstanding physician and community leader.”
Hensley was vice president of the Student Government Association, chair of the Political Action Committee and an Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine teaching assistant at OSU-COM. She worked with other students to encourage state leaders to maintain the stability of the school’s residency program by providing funding for the OSU Medical Center. She also has volunteered to provide health care to those in need during a medical mission trip to Nicaragua.
As an Operation Orange student ambassador, Hensley has promoted the need for physicians in rural Oklahoma to high school students interested in medical careers. She is the OSU-COM representative for the national Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents, coordinator of the college’s Translating Osteopathic Understanding into Community Health (TOUCH) program and a student representative on Oklahoma’s American Osteopathic Association voting delegation.
“I am humbled to have been selected for this honor because I have the utmost admiration for the other students nominated and strive to exemplify their service-based leadership and compassionate hearts,” said Hensley. “I consider this award a responsibility to maintain my passion and advocacy for the osteopathic profession.”
The Broken Arrow native recently was named the student representative on the American Osteopathic Association's Council of New Physicians in Practice. She is a member of the Students of Osteopathic Medicine Association and the American Medical Association and was inducted into Omega Beta Iota, the National Osteopathic Political Action Honor Society.
“Heather is dedicated to the osteopathic profession and truly embraces the unique difference a D.O. makes with patients,” said Dr. Robin Dyer, professor and chair of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine at OSU College of Medicine. “Her future patients will benefit from her compassionate personality and desire to help others.”
As a member of the campus selection committee, Dyer wrote a letter to the national committee recommending Hensley be selected as National Student Doctor of the Year.
Hensley began her career as a physical therapist, practicing in Midwest City. She became interested in osteopathic medicine after several experiences shadowing physicians in different disciplines.
“D.O.s practice medicine in such a way that coincided with my personal values, focusing on treating the entire patient as a body consisting of interconnected systems,” said Hensley. “With my background in physical therapy, osteopathic medicine seemed to fit best.”
Hensley will compete for the national title against students from osteopathic medical schools across the country. The winner receives a $1,000 scholarship and will be recognized at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine conference in April and the American Osteopathic Association House of Delegates business meeting in July.
The award recognizes student doctors who display exceptional leadership and service to their school and community as well as dedication to the osteopathic profession. The Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents, part of the AACOM, sponsors the award.