Fall 2011
Early clinical experiences breed confidence

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Michael Schlepp

Schlepp looks to a residency match in internal medicine this spring.

Michael Schlepp, Class of 2012, graduated from Montana State University in 2005 with degrees in cell biology and neuroscience.

Synapse: What made you decide on a career in medicine?

Schlepp: There were several factors that led me to pursue medicine as a career. My mother is an emergency room nurse, so I grew up around physicians and always looked up to them. Secondly, after college I worked as a phlebotomist and EKG technician at a hospital in Montana where I got to work with physicians and see firsthand what the job entailed. As an out-of-state student I applied to the School of Medicine because I liked the small class size, the good reputation, nearby Tahoe ski resorts and its willingness to look at Western State students.

Synapse: What is your particular area of clinical or research interest and what steered you toward it?

Schlepp: I have done research looking at quality control checklists in the trauma ICU setting. I believe that the medical community has accrued massive amounts of medical knowledge and expertise. However, simple things like monitoring invasive lines, correct administration of antibiotics and following established protocol can vastly increase positive outcomes. Clinically, I am interested in cardiovascular health and considering a career in cardiology.

Synapse: Best experience afforded to you by the School of Medicine?

Schlepp: This school has provided me with the ability to experience many aspects of the field of medicine. During third year rotations, I enjoyed the procedures of surgery, the excitement of labor and delivery and the challenge of the two-year-old well-child check. This school has developed a hands-on learning approach, which allows for active participation in patient care. I felt very confident in my ability to work with patients after my first clinical year, and I think that is a testament to the program here.

Synapse: What is your hope for the residency match next spring?

Schlepp: I am applying for an internal medicine residency and am looking forward to the process leading up to match. I will be looking at primarily West Coast schools, with a focus on programs that have strong cardiology fellowships. My main hope is that the process goes smoothly with minimal stress and anxiety.

Synapse: What are your interests outside of medicine?

Schlepp: Historically, I am an avid skier, which has been difficult living in Las Vegas. However, this region allows for many other outdoor experiences that I also highly enjoy. The Red Rock area has provided me with the opportunity to increase my skill at rock climbing. My wife and I routinely go climbing on the weekends or evenings. Also the mountain bike trails are fantastic, and allow for a quick getaway from the city.

Synapse: What clubs, organizations or committees have you participated in during medical school?

Schlepp: Over my medical school career, I was active in the Student Outreach Clinic during the first two years. Also, I have been one of two students on the admissions committee and was involved with reviewing all medical school applicants and voting on admission to the school. This commitment was a lot of work, but it was very rewarding being part of such an important process.

Synapse: What personal characteristic do you want your patients to value in you as their physician?

Schlepp: I have observed many good qualities in physicians and I hope to emulate them in the future. I want to be perceived as a knowledgeable and caring physician. I want my patients to trust me and be willing to work together on their health. I think the main goal is to be able to establish a solid patient-physician relationship in order to provide quality medical care.