Class of 2023 - RVUCOM-UT
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2023
Hendrix College, BA
Graduate studies, if applicable:
Rocky Vista University, MSBS
What clubs and activities are you currently involved with?
ACOFP and the Student Board of DEI
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hello! I’m August Stuppy. I’m an OMSII that hails from southwest Missouri. I graduated from the RVU Master’s program in 2019, and I’m in the RVUCOM class of 2023.
What initially brought you to RVU? Why did you decide to pursue this degree?
I wanted to be as prepared as I could be for the long journey that is medical school. I started looking into Master's programs that have pipeline programs into their associated medical school, and I ended up visiting the Colorado RVU campus to see whether it would be a good fit for me. I learned more about the philosophy of osteopathy and caring for the whole person, and it aligned with the beliefs I held with regard to addressing the vastly varying contributors to health. I decided that I would apply to the Master's program, and three years later I'm a second-year medical student about to take boards and start rotations!
What do you enjoy doing when not at RVU (family life, interests and hobbies)?
I really enjoy language-learning, and I want to be fluent in four languages by my 40th birthday. I know some Spanish, over one-thousand signs in American Sign Language, and I've learned about 100 Japanese hiragana and katakana symbols. I always keep a loaf of bread at the ready for my family, baking a loaf every few days. It's a wonderful way to express my creativity by exploring different flavor combinations and my interest in the foods and flavors of other cultures.
What is an interesting or little known fact about you:
I’ve eaten one meal per day for the past four years! Not only does eating one meal per day work well with budgeting for meals, but it also brings intention toward the food my partner and I prepare and eat. We prioritize preparing sustainable, healthy, home-cooked meals every day, composting as much as we can, and minimizing the amount of waste going to a landfill.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given by a professor or student while at RVU?
A professor at RVU once said that medical school can only be what you put into it. Yes, that applies to the student’s studying toward classwork, but I’ve found that it’s more than that. I’ve felt the most connected with myself, my classmates, and the university in the commitments that are outside the curriculum. By volunteering and working with the university on projects that engage diversity, equity, and inclusion, I’ve been able to put into practice how I’d like to see the medical field address past injustices in order to create a more just and equitable health environment. With that said, feeling fulfilled in medical school for me does come from doing well in my classes, but much more importantly, being able to marry my personal convictions and civic responsibility with my future profession leaves me feeling the most fulfilled.
What are your medical interests?
I'm currently interested in family medicine and being a medical provider for marginalized and underserved populations. The healthcare system in this country is largely inaccessible for a large portion of the people who need healthcare, and I want to become a physician who strives to mitigate the many health disparities that exist through language-learning and patient advocacy.
What is a favorite memory you have from being in RVU?
There are so many! But if I had to pick, then I'd probably choose the celebration of graduating from the Master's program at RVU. The graduating class was relatively small, and so our class had grown very close. That graduation party was a celebration of that closeness and the pride that I have in my fellow graduates for completing such a rigorous program. Dr. Towne and Dr. Roberts have done an incredible job with the program.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
I think that in order to succeed in medical school, I needed to have balance between school and self. Despite being in medical school, I still needed to be able to express myself both in creative projects and express the person I want to become through reading every day. Creative projects, like creating a new bread recipe or designing a card to send to a friend, help me take time to reflect on where I am and how I’m feeling. By making time for reading, I’m able to educate my future self about topics that my present self cares deeply about, such as housing discrimination, modern segregation, implicit bias toward people of non-White racial and ethnic backgrounds, and disparities in healthcare. In medical school I needed to check in with my day-to-day self, but I also needed to make time to invest in the self that I aspire to become outside of school. My advice to prospective students would be to find out how to make that a priority in the most productive, sustainable way possible.