School of Medicine Students Visit White House Medical Unit

Posted in GUMC Stories

FEB. 5, 2016–While many in the D.C. area were still digging out after a weekend blizzard, several students from Georgetown University School of Medicine were taking a tour of the White House Medical Unit – an experience that was years in the making.

Members of the Military Medicine Interest Group (MMIG) – which includes students participating in the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), veterans and others interested in military medicine – visited the medical unit on January 27. Organizing the tour was a near miracle, according to Jett McCann, senior associate dean for knowledge management and director of Dahlgren Memorial Library at GUMC.  

“Over the past years, several HPSP students have tried to set this up and couldn’t pull it off,” said McCann, who is a retired Navy Captain and serves as the HPSP/MMIG adviser. “That even includes a year when one of the students had a colleague working there! When you factor in the major snow event we’re working through and rescheduled exams, that just makes it more impressive.”

The visit was arranged by Ensign Margaret McCarthy (USNR, SOM’18), MMIG vice president and 2nd Lt. Rita Snyder (USAR, SOM’18), MMIG president. “Basically, I just started making phone calls, and because the military community is so interested in the development of future leaders, setting up the tour was quite easy,” McCarthy said. “The team at the White House Medical Unit was very enthusiastic about our visit and was incredibly generous with their time and in sharing their experiences and passion for their work.”

Once they made it to the White House, the 25 students received a tour and met the director and deputy director of the medical unit, as well as the current and former physicians to the president, an experience that Snyder described as “an unexpected and unbelievable privilege.”

“Their words of encouragement, genuine love for medicine and service to our country were truly inspiring,” Snyder said. “The visit was an invaluable experience for all of us as we continue our education at Georgetown, preparing for similarly challenging and rewarding careers serving those who serve our nation.”

Kat Zambon
GUMC Communications