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Across the Oval: medFIT helping medical students maintain health

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Lindsey Steinbeck, second-year medical student and President of medFIT, working out. Courtesy of Lindsey Steinbeck

Lindsey Steinbeck, second-year medical student and President of medFIT, working out. Credit: Courtesy of Lindsey Steinbeck

College can be a stressful time for students across every discipline. From exams to projects and papers, health and wellness can be put on the back burner in a college student’s priorities at times.

Certain areas of study lend themselves to having a reputation for strenuous schedules, and the fields under College of Medicine are no exception.

For those medical students who struggle to make time for wellness themselves, there are options like medFIT, an Ohio State student organization.

MedFIT is designed to “provide fitness training, nutrition advice and health education specifically for medical students,” according to the organization’s purpose statement.

Catering to a certain demographic allows for students in medFIT and the College of Medicine to collaborate toward a common wellness goal due to their similar, hectic schedules. Lindsey Steinbeck, president of medFIT and a second-year in medicine, said she can see why the group was created.

“I think it came out of the understanding that in order to take care of other people, you have to take care of yourself first,” Steinbeck said.

In order to promote a healthy lifestyle for medical students, there are several activities medFIT offers, such as personal training, events, and speakers, which can be found on their Facebook page along with information regarding organization meetings.

“We offer what we call personal training to other students, but a lot of it is education about goal setting and healthy habits in the gym and the kitchen,” Steinbeck said.

The group matches students with trainers who are specialized in their area of concern, whether it is weight training or learning how to run a 5K, said Brianne Wiemann, vice president of medFIT and a first-year in medicine.

“For me, fitness is something that makes me feel better about myself,” she said. “It makes me energized, so I can take on other areas of my life.”

The importance of overall wellness in college is invaluable. Janelle Bayless, the wellness coordinator and dietitian at the Student Wellness Center, attested to what happens when students neglect their health.

“(Students) may have a harder time concentrating or really paying attention to what they need to get done; they may not work as efficiently or effectively as they could be,” she said. “We know that a lot of people that go into the medical professions, they don’t tend to just be busy during school … if this is how life is going to be hypothetically, is there anything that we could do to maybe change things a little bit, to be a little bit different for the better?”

Both Steinbeck and Wiemann said medFIT has had a positive impact on them.

“I just personally get a joy out of teaching people this kind of stuff,” Steinbeck said. “To teach people these habits that can stay with them life long and see them grown on their own from there is what I really love about it.”

Bayless said she could see a useful connection for students in medicine and medFIT.
“Looking at their career paths, I think they will be able to relate more with their clients because most people tend to live really busy lifestyles and have families, and it is really hard to find that time. I think they will be able to empathize and relate that much more,” she said.

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