Olivia Sneary, a first-year student at the Boonshoft School of Medicine, has been appointed to the Wright State University Board of Trustees.
Sneary is a 2019 graduate of Wright State, where she studied biology and was involved in extracurricular activities that nurtured her interest in studying medicine.
“It is an honor. Being appointed means that I am trusted to serve as a liaison, communicating thoughts and feelings of the students to the board,” Sneary said. “I feel like this is a great way to be involved throughout medical school while also giving back to the university.”
The native of Bluffton, Ohio, learned that she wanted to pursue medicine when she was in middle school. Sneary witnessed a classmate battling cancer, and was amazed at how much doctors did to help her friend.
“Before then, I was actually a bit afraid of doctors. I became amazed at what doctors could do and the lasting relationships with patients that were built as a result,” Sneary said. “This knowledge and compassion has given friends and family chances at life that they wouldn’t have otherwise.”
Sneary went on to work as an emergency medical technician (EMT) in her hometown. She learned how to take what she had learned and practiced in classrooms and applied it to split-second decisions as an EMT. It was incredibly fulfilling for her to see how and why the human body works the way it does, and how medical interventions can influence patient outcomes.
Due to that experience and her time spent shadowing in the emergency department at Miami Valley Hospital, Sneary is initially drawn toward pursuing emergency medicine as a specialty. Still, she is open to the opportunities that could come after her time in medical school.
“I enjoy the fast-paced environment of emergency medicine and being able to think quickly to solve issues as a team,” Sneary said. “However, I also had the opportunity to intern with a family practice office and had a really great experience. I was able to see the long-lasting relationships between physicians and patients and that was very unique.”
During her time as an undergraduate student at Wright State University, Sneary was involved with many organizations on campus. She served as president of an organization called Love Your Melon, which raises pediatric cancer awareness. Sneary worked as a biology camp instructor for high school students, teaching them about forensic science.
Sneary was a student employee in the Office of the President and served as a President’s Ambassador for two years. She was content chair for the Leader to Leader Conference hosted by Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society. She volunteered with 4Paws for Ability, fostering two puppies. Sneary also traveled to Nicaragua with the Global Public Health Brigade, where she built sanitary units for families.
“Having been at Wright State for four years already, I was able to have the full undergraduate experience and now I get to extend that into professional school as well,” Sneary said. “This gives me the opportunity to know and understand issues and successes in both student populations. I want to really take a look at where we have been as a university and see where we can improve in the next few years.”
The Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine is a community-based medical school affiliated with eight major teaching hospitals. The medical school educates the next generation of physicians by providing medical education for more than 480 medical students and 465 residents and fellows in 13 specialty areas and 10 subspecialties. Its research enterprise encompasses centers in the basic sciences, epidemiology, public health and community outreach programs. More than 1,600 of the medical school’s 3,532 alumni remain in medical practice in Ohio.