Kelsey Lynch’s experiences in health care administration inspired her to build deeper connections with patients through practicing medicine. As a previous graduate of RUSH’s Health Systems Management program, she applied for medical school, with RUSH as her top choice. The Medical Staff for Medical Students scholarship enabled her to freely pursue the field she was most passionate about: internal medicine.
Lynch, an M4 student who grew up in Chicago, was inspired to pursue medicine after managing an internal medicine department at Kaiser Permanente for five years.
“I realized I was the happiest when I was called in to talk to patients,” she said. “I looked at doctors having these intimate conversations with their panel of patients, and I realized that’s what I wanted to do. I really wanted to be close to patients on that individual level.”
While it was not easy for Lynch to give up a paying job to return to school, the support of the scholarship through all four years of her medical education eased the transition.
“The scholarship opened up different career opportunities,” Lynch said. “When you’re not burdened by hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, you feel like you have permission to pursue what you want to pursue — not just what would best pay off your loans.”
Of her most prominent memories at RUSH, Lynch vividly recalled assisting her first patient during her internal medicine rotation. The patient was scared, as he had never been hospitalized before, and Lynch sat with him daily to answer his questions, talk about his life and provide him some comfort. After being treated and discharged, the patient wrote a letter to Lynch’s partner’s mother, a mutual connection, to praise Lynch’s bedside manner.
“I'm pretty proud of that moment, and it sticks with me just because that patient went out of his way to let someone know that I was doing a good job,” Lynch said.
Lynch will soon head to Mayo Clinic for a residency in internal medicine. In the future, she’d like to marry her business background with her medical training as a hospitalist or nephrologist. She’d also like the flexibility to work in hospital operations to improve workflows and influence strategic plans.
“It's hard to put into words what the scholarship means to me,” she said. “It means you've given me a future. It means all of the success I’ll have going forward, I’ll truly have thanks to you. I hope to return the favor once I am earning a salary out of residency.”
The generosity of medical staff has empowered 12 students to pursue their dreams and receive world-class medical education through half-tuition support since 2016. We have set out to reward new students each year with half-tuition scholarships for their entire medical school experience through the Medical Staff for Medical Students program. To make a meaningful, debt-reducing contribution to a student’s future, visit rush.edu/ms4ms.
Donors to this campaign will be recognized at a May 12 reception in Room 500 following the semi-annual medical staff meeting.