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‚ÄčThis year was a turning point for Megan Schechtman, medical student at the University of Michigan. She took part in the Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) program at our center and credits that experience with sparking her interest in geriatrics. Schechtman shares her story: 

The MSTAR program was a great opportunity to learn about the unique components that go into caring for older adults, which sparked my interests in aging. My MSTAR project took place with the Research in Environments, Active Aging, and Community Health (REACH) group. 

Most of my time was spent between two of their projects: PEP4PA, which is a multilevel intervention aimed at increasing physical activity levels in a population of ethnically diverse older adults, and AVE, which is a sitting time reduction intervention in postmenopausal Latinas. Increasing physical activity and decreasing sitting time can have huge health benefits to older adults. Improving the health of older adults is important, not only to the individuals but also the entire health-care system, as it has the potential to decrease healthcare costs. The MSTAR program has made me more cognizant of the unique health-care needs of older adults. 

One of my favorite days this summer was being able to visit the Senior Behavioral Health Clinic at Hillcrest Hospital. Shadowing there allowed me to see the importance of multidisciplinary teams when caring for the complex medical cases that often accompany older adults.