Kara Smith named Student DO of the Year

photo of Kara Smith

Kara Smith has been selected as Campbell Medicine’s Student DO of the Year for 2020.  Smith, a member of the Class of 2020 who is set to graduate on May 7,  is pursuing a career in emergency medicine.  

The Student DO of the Year Award is a national award sponsored by the Association of American Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine to recognize students at each osteopathic medical school “on the basis of their service to their college, leadership and research experiences, and dedication to the osteopathic profession.” 

Student Doctor Kara Smith holding a puppy
Student Doctor Kara Smith at a puppy therapy student wellness event

The selection process for the award at Campbell involves anonymous nominations by fellow students, faculty and staff as well as evaluation of the student’s CV and essay.  As the Campbell Medicine 2020 Student DO of the Year, Smith is a candidate for the national award to be presented later this month.

According to the committee, some key reasons Smith was selected are her “ever present big smile and willingness to help others.”  She also served as a lead advocate for the annual Incoming Student Lake Retreat where she was instrumental in organizing and executing a multi-day event hosting more than 100 incoming medical students. She has served as a teaching assistant for anatomy, OMM and ultrasound.

“All of these roles require good communication and long hours working with faculty members and students,” said committee chair Dr. Bonnie Brenseke.  “The faculty and students who nominated Kara affirm she is one of the most personable, hardworking, and empathetic individuals they have had the pleasure of teaching and learning with.”

In addition to serving as a teaching assistant, Smith has exemplified leadership and dedication to the osteopathic profession through her work with several student organizations.  She volunteered with the Community Care Clinic as a student provider and assistant laboratory director, and she assisted in organizing the Mr. CUSOM fundraiser. 

Smith served as 2016-2017 President of the Campbell Chapter of the Student Osteopathic Surgical Association (SOSA) and led the chapter in hosting numerous educational opportunities throughout the year including mock anatomy practicals and suturing skills labs.  She currently serves as the resident student organization Graduate Medical Education Chair for the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians (ACOEP)  and recently served as the primary student coordinator for the Residency Expo and Residency Speed Dating at the annual ACOEP Scientific Assembly in addition to attending the  2019 Spring Seminar and the Summer Symposium. 

Smith has also been involved in the Campbell Wilderness Medicine Club serving as a facilitator in multiple Wilderness Medicine Races, attending the 2017 Southeastern
Wilderness Medicine Conference in North Carolina and the 2019 Wilderness Medicine Society Summer Conference in Colorado. 

Currently, she is a candidate for recognition by the Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) that offers recognition of providers who have fulfilled a demanding set of requirements validating their training and experience in Wilderness Medicine.  

“Kara’s dedication to the profession is reflected in her numerous scholarly efforts and engagement in professional organizations,” continued Brenseke.  “Kara has performed research and presented papers and publications in areas such as anatomy and emergency medicine.  Kara is an outstanding leader with the heart, hands and head to elevate everyone around her, propelling the profession as a whole.”