This 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
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
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.