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ATSU-KCOM student finds caring campus community, great student life in Kirksville

ATSU-KCOM student Benjamin Byler and his family enjoy a University of Michigan football game.

Applying to, interviewing, and selecting a medical school may be a lengthy process full of discovery. For A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) student Benjamin Byler, OMS II, there was at least one area in which ATSU-KCOM was unmatched.

“ATSU stood out as the founding school of osteopathic medicine, with a well established and highly respected alumni base,” Byler said.

Then when he visited the Kirksville, Missouri, campus, Byler found the College wasn’t only about its past, but the people here in the present and the opportunities afforded to students.

“When I interviewed, everyone I met was friendly and wanted to get to know me outside of what was on my application,” he said.

Byler, from Bronson, Michigan, graduated from Bethel College with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular cell biology. He’s become immersed in the ATSU-KCOM community, serving as treasurer of both the Global Health Club and Internal Medicine Club, and member of the Pediatric Club, Wilderness Medicine Club, and Gamma Beta Phi.

“Global Health Club is arguably the best club on campus. As a member, I had the opportunity to go on two separate medical mission trips. Over spring break, we went to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and then this past fall break we traveled to Bangalore, India. Over the course of both trips we set up health clinics where I got to practice the skills we had learned in our classes,” Byler said.

He serves as a student ambassador, providing insights to prospective students, just like he received on his campus visits.

“The ambassadors I met during my campus tour and interview day were a big reason I chose ATSU, and I wanted to be able to pass that experience onto someone else. I really enjoy doing lab demos and showing off all the cool things the campus has to offer its students,” Byler said.

Outside of the classroom, Byler enjoys spending time with his wife and son, and sports – whether that’s watching, talking about them, or playing. He’s a big fan of the University of Michigan and all Detroit professional teams, and likes to engage in ATSU’s intramural activities.

“I think the thing that I most enjoy about ATSU student life is the intramural sports leagues. It’s a great opportunity to meet classmates as well as students in the other classes as well. Some of my closest friends are people that I met out on the intramural fields,” he said.

Byler hopes to one day work in pediatrics, and is grateful for the educational foundation he’s receiving at ATSU-KCOM.

“ATSU offers its students many opportunities that other schools lack, whether that’s a cadaver-based anatomy learning experience, in-depth ultrasound curriculum, or the HPS simulation lab,” he said.

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