Members of the VCOM-Auburn Student DO of the Year Committee have announced their selection of a student that best represents the principles of leadership, community service, dedication and professionalism. Second-year medical student Mike Brisson was an easy choice for both the student body and the Committee as he represents all of these traits with unparalleled excellence.
Initial nominations for the Student DO of the Year were submitted by students from the classes of 2019 and 2020 at VCOM-Auburn. The Student DO of the Year Committee then reviewed and ranked applications from the nominated students.
“I am humbled and honored to have been selected by both my peers and the administration,” said Brisson. “It has a special meaning, particularly because we are members of the inaugural class. My classmates and professors have assisted me since day one of medical school and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their unending assistance,” added Brisson.
Through both his military experience and emergency medical services (EMS) experience, Brisson has a strong background of skills to draw from. Brisson noted that he wanted to empower first and second-year medical students because as current medical students and future physicians, they will be providing care and representing osteopathic medicine in Alabama and throughout the United States. “I’ve been involved in EMS for more than 14 years and it has allowed me to develop a passion for teaching and mentoring,” said Brisson.
Brisson’s eagerness to share his extensive knowledge and the strong leadership he displays on and off campus has endeared Brisson to the students and faculty at VCOM-Auburn.
Jake T. Williamson, PhD, VCOM-Auburn Assistant Vice President for Student Services noted that Brisson was a sure choice for everyone at the VCOM-Auburn campus. “It is no surprise Mike was selected by the committee as he is an exemplary student in every sense of the word. His commitment to excelling at everything he pursues does not make him unique; however, the degree to which he is successful as a medical student, EMT, husband and father—simultaneously—is truly unique and commands the respect of all he encounters, said Williamson.
Brisson is involved in numerous activities at the VCOM-Auburn campus including serving as a Peer anatomy lab instructor for surgical procedural skills. He is a member of both SAMOPS, the Student Association of Military Osteopathic and Surgeons, and SOMA, the Student Osteopathic Medical Association. Brisson served as SGA Secretary/Treasurer in 2015-16 and is currently serving as SGA Treasurer for 2016-17.
Brisson also serves as a Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents Translating Osteopathic Understanding into Community Health coordinator (COSGP TOUCH), and as an American Heart Association ACLS/BLS/PALS instructor.
Brisson is a UH/HH-60 Blackhawk helicopter pilot in the Alabama Army National Guard where he serves as an aeromedical evacuation officer at the rank of captain. He has served overseas in Japan and Korea, including a combat deployment to Afghanistan. Brisson is also no stranger to the academic world as he already possesses a PhD in Epidemiology from Walden University, and an MPH from the American Military University.
“Mike is a role model for the entire school,” said Christopher B. Walker, VCOM-Auburn SGA vice president and a fellow class of 2019 member. “I believe he is fully deserving of this award because he embodies what it truly means to be an osteopathic medical student. His commitment to serving his fellow students and the surrounding community is inspiring. It has been an honor working with him,” said Walker, who also served on the Student DO of the Year Committee.
Brisson’s nomination will now proceed to the national level where a national Student DO of the Year will be chosen from among the nominees from osteopathic medical colleges across the country. The National Student DO of the Year will be chosen at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) annual conference in April of 2017.