Untitled Document

Fast Facts

Humans of WVSOM 

Humans of WVSOM is a documentary that was designed by WVSOM students to help share the stories of our students. We encourage you to follow their documentaries on Facebook! It's a great way to learn more about the diverse group of students we have here at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. 


Meet Miesca McFarland, WVSOM Class of 2020 - St. Andrew, Jamaica 

“I came to America after completing high school to attend college… I’ve always wanted to be a doctor since I was six. … I grew up in a violent and poor community. As a kid I saw sick people all the time but lacked the resources to help in what they really needed. People are getting killed and the only way I thought I could help anybody was to become a healer…

Osteopathic medicine seemed like a perfect resource for this particular scenario. People don’t understand how important OMT is. Even if you can’t cure cancer, there are so many techniques that can help and it gives everybody control over their body. It also gives everyone the opportunity to help someone else. So, for me, for someone from a developing country, people can’t necessarily afford Panadol or get an ACE wrap. You can teach them how to do a treatment with OMT. It’s kind of like having NSAIDS in your pocket. Money influences a lot of things from access to quality of care, but with OMT anyone is able to make an impact with money being less of a factor… I plan on going home to build a recrational educational center. I’m not going to build a clinic because that would only take away business from local hospitals which might result in them closing down. I’m not going to be helping anybody that way; that would just decrease health access. I figured I must try to bend a tree when as a sapling; simply because you can’t bend a tree when its fully grown… When I was younger my school was able to do a trip where they sent us to a resort across the country. It was a complete change of perspective. It introduced me to a world where people could afford to come there and stay a week in a resort. It motivated me to want better and not necessarily fall under the status quo. For me, I want to target children and help them see that there is more to life once you stick it out with the books. No matter how expensive education is, it is the best way out. I was fortunate enough that I came to that conclusion from a young age. Because no matter what happens, you can break a leg, you can lose your voice, but no one can take away your education…

It’s not a matter of convincing people, it’s a matter of providing those opportunities. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity. I’m smart, but whatever. My friends were just as smart if not smarter. The only reason I’m here – not because I’m dedicated or more hard working- I hate when people attribute success just to that. Of course, you must be hard working, but you must have the opportunity… That is the only reason that I am here. My grandmother lived here and filed for me and I went to college and I took advantage of that…. My goal is to provide opportunities for those to take advantage of… The Dream Again Project was about this opportunity of dreaming. Everyone dreams. When you were younger in this country you thought you could be a president, an astronaut. Back home I dreamed there were no gunshots fired this week or hoped there was no curfew, hoped my mommy made enough money today so that we could eat. Physiological need, basic human rights become a dream when we don’t have opportunity. The project was just to give kids the dream… It’s only a $1000. Can you imagine paying tuition for a year for the US for a grand? The goal is to raise enough for one tuition. So, it’s a small contribution but, one or more persons can get a degree- one more person can contribute to the economy and stop leaving. That is what the Dream Again Project is… It’s a tremendous gift to be where you are now.

Exactly where you are. Everyone has personal struggle and obstacles. And everyone will face them in the future, but to take a second to realize that my biggest problem right now is to study 12 hours a day, when some people are thinking about how they are going to feed their children today. How amazing it would be, just like me, dreaming to be a doctor- people could dream to be a scientist. When a dream isn’t dreamt, and a dream isn’t realized we are all losing." 


Meet Abdul Nazif, WVSOM Class of 2020 - Philadelphia, PA 

"I came to the United States at the age of 12 from Syria. My mom was a doctor back home and whenever I went to work with her I always noticed how people looked up to her. She was as a famous physician in the area and it was motivating to see that. When I was a kid I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but my parents wanted me to become a pharmacist. All I knew was that I wanted a career that helped people.

My mom didn’t practice medicine in the United States and as a family we grew up poor. My family didn’t have money to provide me to go to college so I had to coach tennis for the majority of undergrad to be able to afford school. I tore my ACL during my senior year two weeks before the start of tennis season at Temple. It was a very emotional time for me but I really looked up to the doctor who repaired my ACL. He changed my life and I think that set me on the path to medicine. I made a promise to myself that in the future when I become a physician one of my biggest focuses will be using the money I make to provide for the poor. My home country Syria has undergone a financial crisis and I want to be able to at least help my family over there that are struggling.

What people don’t know is that I used to struggle with my weight. When I came to the United States I decided to work my hardest to become more fit and work hard in school because my family came here so that my siblings and I could get a better education. Sometimes I still struggle with the English language, believe it or not, but other than that I’m a truly genuine person who wants the best for everybody."


Meet Amanda Buzzetta, WVSOM Class of 2021 - Orlando, FL 


"Because of the political climate of Venezuela... it wasn't safe for my family. [We were] fortunate enough to be American citizens because mom was born in the United States. [My parents] decided to move and then within 4 months we were in Florida. We had 5 duffle bags. That's what we brought with us when we arrived in Miami. And [we] worked up to Orlando [where my] parents thought it was a good place to raise kids..."

When my paternal grandmother passed away this changed my perspective completely on what I wanted to do for a living. That's when I decided to do Osteopathic medicine. She passed away in Venezuela, it could have been prevented- due to the poor healthcare system and lack of resources and really listening to the patient... She was sent home basically when she should have been hospitalized. Part of the process was realizing that so much more could have been done. I knew that in the future I could be the doctor that would not let something like that happen, going to school every day I feel so fortunate to be in school.

Before that, I didn't think I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be in music education or a musician in high school.
[Music is an] outlet for feelings. It's a way to express myself and not even in an artistic way, but I feel like it's a transfer of energy from my emotions to a physical energy like air and sound. Specifically, being a doctor, I really value and admire the position of leadership.

A lot of things that people might take for granted are things that, as Americans, are not questioned or guaranteed. [These advantages] are truly valued, especially in my family. This huge sacrifice they made to leave our home and leave their lives, families, and their jobs to come to this country and not know what would happen. Their drive was just for us, for their children, to live a safe life and to have an education they could use and to be successful. I think that's taken for granted in this country. As an immigrant, that definitely is my drive. I always think about my parents when I do anything. I think everything I do should be worthy of their sacrifice.

All of the opportunities that we have are not available to a lot of people outside of this country. I feel so fortunate to have access to an education. That is incredible to me."


Meet Deema Ghalayini, WVSOM Class of 2021 - Florida 

"[I decided I wanted to become a doctor because] My dad had a lot of health issues including needing a kidney transplant, which he actually got from my mom. That was very eye opening to me. I always wanted to do healthcare, but I wasn't really sure what to do. Watching my dad's' circle of physicians helping him and doing everything they could do for him because he was a human being and needed help. I wanted to do that for my own patients.

[My parents] met [in Lebanon]. They married; they came here and started a family. Half of my Mom's family still lives over there. I would like to think [my family's history influenced me] because I've watched them work really hard to make a life here. It kinda gave me the motivation to work hard and fulfill my dream (to become a physician) to make them proud too.

I have worked with on going issues with immigration from war-torn areas and coming back...You see people really sacrificing a lot and they come here and are kinda lost when they do. It makes you really take a look at your life and think, maybe I should be a little bit more selfless or give a little bit more."