Lily White has a passion for integrative medicine, a health care approach that reaffirms the importance of the patient-physician relationship and focuses on improving the whole patient while integrating therapeutic approaches, health care professions and scientific disciplines.
To share her passion, the second-year medical student at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine decided to develop an educational conference. Her inspiration was the Leadership and Education Program for Students in Integrative Medicine (LEAPS into IM), sponsored by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine.
“It’s a five-day experience that allows students to explore various modalities of integrative medicine,” said White, who is from Donnelsville, Ohio. “Getting to know other students passionate about practicing medicine and caring for people in the same way I am was the best part of the program.”
She worked with faculty in the Boonshoft School of Medicine and other students from Wright State to develop Project Wellness, an event that in some ways modeled LEAPS into IM. The conference was held Oct. 2 in White Hall and provided health professions students opportunities to learn about integrative medicine.
“In developing Project Wellness, I wanted to create a similar experience of connection for other students,” said White, a past recipient of the medical school’s Chester E. Finn Scholarship.
Workshops were offered to attendees on treatments such as massage, acupuncture, nutrition, aromatherapy, meditation, self-care and osteopathic manipulation. Each session was 50 minutes long, broken down into 10 minutes for a description of the treatment and supporting research followed by 40 minutes of active exploration.
“I loved how collaborative this event was. It was so encouraging to learn that there are more students out there excited about integrative medicine,” White said. “It’s amazing sometimes how sharing your passion can bring out others saying, ‘No way, me too!’”
Helping to plan the event were 10 Wright State medical students and a student from the School of Professional Psychology, as well as students from the University of Dayton and the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University. Fifty-six students attended the event.
“The many students who were a part of planning this event really inspired and encouraged me along the way with their dedication and persistence,” White said. “In large part, this event was successful because of them.”
White’s advisors in the effort were Kim Gilliam, Ed.D, director of medical student services, and Patrick Jonas, M.D., clinical associate professor of family medicine. She may look to them in the future, as she hopes to launch an integrative medicine student group at the Boonshoft School of Medicine and make the Project Wellness conference an annual event.
White’s passion for integrative medicine stems from her interest in specializing in family medicine after she completes her medical school training.
“I’m very much interested in practicing family and integrative medicine,” White said. “They’re the perfect combination in my eyes.”
Wright State became an independent institution in 1967 and spent the next 50 years growing into an innovative leader in student success. In 2017, it celebrates its 50th anniversary as an independent public university.