Anjali Agrawal (MS-III) named 2021 Student DO of the Year 

The School of Osteopathic Medicine’s Student DO of the Year Selection Committee named Student Doctor Anjali Agrawal 2021 Student DO of the Year (SDOY); this award also served as the school’s nomination for the American Association of Colleges of .Osteopathic Medicine’s National Student DO of the Year Award.

“Upon reviewing her nomination and her application, it is evident to the Selection Committee that Ms. Agrawal is an outstanding role model who has not only demonstrated a heartfelt dedication to her school, but also to her local and global community and the osteopathic medical profession,” said Dr. Bonnie Brenseke, chair of the SDOY Selection Committee.  “Her dedication to the profession is reflected in her numerous scholarly efforts and engagement in professional organizations.” 

There are 5 criteria for the national award and the committee as well as her peers state Student Doctor Agrawal has gone above and beyond in all of the following areas making her a great candidate for this award: 

  • Leadership 
  • Commitment to Community Service 
  • Dedication to the Profession 
  • Professionalism 
  • Embodiment of the Osteopathic Philosophy 

 Anjali’s commitment to service started before her matriculation to medical school.  In 2015, she volunteered at Maggie’s Place, a woman’s rehabilitation center, and from 2016-2018, she volunteered in the dialysis clinic of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.  Since entering medical school, SD Agrawal has demonstrated her heart for service by volunteering in many ways and serving as a student leader.  She has volunteered at the Maternal Services Ward of Betsy Johnson Hospital, Wings Camp dedicated to helping children cope with the loss of their loved ones, and at the local middle school in Dunn, NC. 

During her first three years of medical school, SD Agrawal demonstrated her passion for pediatric medicine by serving as Campbell’s first Medical Student Delegate in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). While serving in this role, she responded to AAP’s call for gun safety initiatives to protect children by going to the Johnston, Harnett, Wake and Wayne County sheriff departments collecting 112 gun locks, available free at the sheriff departments, and printing out information on gun safety and agreements for parents to sign with their children about not playing with guns. She took the locks and handouts to local pediatricians’ practices for distribution to parents and hosted educational opportunities throughout the year regarding children and gun safety. 

SD Anjali Agrawal with 112 gun locks, safety information, and contracts for parents to use with their children.

“Student Doctor Anjali Agrawal embodies all of the qualities of an outstanding osteopathic medical student,” affirmed Dr. Andrea Mann, former Chair of Pediatrics and Advisor for the Peds Club at Campbell.  “She is a motivating and cheerful leader who is committed to serving her local and global community.  Student Doctor Agrawal continually demonstrates professionalism and a dedication to the osteopathic profession and its holistic philosophy of the mind, body, and spirit.” 

She also served as a Peer Navigator during her MS-II year assisting first year medical students with navigating the many challenges socially, emotionally, and mentally associated with the rigor of transitioning to medical school.  

“SD Agrawal demonstrated the essential qualities of a Navigator – empathy and a supportive attitude – and was an asset to the program,” shared Samantha Turnipseed, Assistant Director of Clinical Services, Department of Behavioral Health that oversees the Peer Navigator program. 

 “She took the initiative to seek out first year students in small group study rooms to say hello and to see what was on their mind instead of simply waiting for them to seek her out in the common areas. She realized students may feel intimidated or self-conscious about walking up to someone they do not know well to share their concerns, and by taking this initiative, she found students actually had a lot they wanted to talk about- coursework, study strategies, stress management, etc.” 

Additionally, as a third year medical student, she currently serves as a Student Site Representative, a peer elected position, for the Goldsboro Clinical Campus where she is responsible for voicing the concerns of her fellow students and attending the Regional Leadership Committee meeting each month to provide updates. In this role, SD Agrawal demonstrated her leadership skills by working with preceptors and site coordinators to implement virtual attendance for didactics when COVID-19 made safe distancing in the classroom necessary. 

Beyond campus and local community service, in December 2018, her first year of medical school, Anjali went on a medical mission to Jamaica. She worked in medically underserved rural areas of Jamaica providing OMT, collecting patient histories, and performing physical exams.  

“Perhaps more than the medical care she provided, Anjali provided care for the mind and spirit of those who came to clinic by offering feet washing,” reflected Dr. Joe Cacioppo, chair of community and global health. “She would sit on the ground to wash and apply lotion to the feet of the patients (mostly it was the women who took her up on her offer of foot pampering).” 

“She has also served as Continuity of Care Coordinator in the Community Care Clinic where her responsibilities included presenting patient labs to the attending physician, reviewing lab work to develop a care plan, and calling patients with follow up on clinic visits/lab draws.” 

“We met each week to review lab results and discuss patient care. She was the most organized and thoughtful of all the students who filled the position over the past 5 years, yet what was most outstanding was her compassion for our patients. Not one patient was simply breezed over. Anjali made sure each patient was thoroughly discussed so she had complete understanding of what she was to do and how she was to explain the plan to our patients. In calling patients every weekend for a year, she was able to build a rapport with those she served by taking the time to have meaningful conversations making her community feel valued and cared for.” 

The Committee selected Student Doctor Agrawal for this award because she is an outstanding leader with the heart, hands, and head to elevate everyone around her – propelling the profession as a whole forward. 

“There were so many outstanding candidates this year, which I am sure makes selecting one candidate very hard for the Committee,” reflected Dr. David Tolentino, associate dean for clinical affairs.  “I have had the wonderful opportunity of knowing Student Dr. Agrawal since she matriculated into medical school, and I have specifically been able to collaborate with her in her role as Regional Site Representative for her class in Region 5/Goldsboro this year.  She admirably fits all the criteria for this honor and has demonstrated leadership and stepped up to challenges in the most professional way.  Her clinical faculty preceptors have nothing but outstanding comments and feedback about her.  I am very excited for Student Dr. Agrawal’s future as an osteopathic physician and a vocal leader for the profession.” 

In addition to being named Student DO of the Year for Campbell Medicine, her service efforts were recognized by the AACOM TOUCH (Translating Osteopathic Understanding into Community Health) Awards, Gold-level recognitions, in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 for her community service activities.  Faculty, staff and students gathered virtually earlier this month to celebrate SD Agrawal’s accomplishment and wish her well on the national nomination.


Sarah H Bowman, JD author and photography

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