By: Sarah Cormier, Macomb County Executive Office
Crystal Marsh is living out some of her biggest dreams right now.
The lifelong Macomb County resident has just graduated from Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and is now officially a doctor, ready to start her residency locally in internal medicine.
“My grandfather had health issues and passed away while I was in undergraduate school,” said Marsh. “I wished I had the ability to help him. By receiving my medical education, I will be able to help others like him.”
The best part is Marsh did all of her schooling while still living right here in Macomb County.
Macomb Community College, which is in the top two percent nationally for associate degrees earned, is also home to the Macomb University Center, which now boasts partnerships with 12 different colleges to offer more than 80 bachelor and master degree opportunities for students. One of those partnerships is with Michigan State University, which opted to put its College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM) in Macomb County a few years ago. Marsh is one of the students from the school’s second graduating class.
“It has a wonderful study environment with multiple resources – the library, the computer lab, the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine lab to name a few,” said Marsh of the school. “Also many of the hospitals that I was considering for residency were in the metro Detroit area. Through MSUCOM’s statewide campus system, I had access to them for rotations.”
Macomb County has seven hospitals within a 20-mile radius, offering ample opportunities for the students going through the MSUCOM program. The area also boasts many other amenities that are drawing people to the area.
“Macomb County is a wonderful place to live. It has a multitude of activities in the vicinity. There are parks, shopping centers and restaurants. It’s also close enough that you can go downtown for sporting events, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and concerts,” said Marsh.
Despite the amount of hospitals in the area, in 2005 local leaders began noticing that there was a growing shortage of physicians in the county. Moreover, those who were becoming physicians often weren’t staying in Macomb County to practice medicine after graduation, taking their valuable skills and economical contributions elsewhere.
So when Michigan State University said it wanted to place a medical school in the metro Detroit area, the announcement caught then Macomb Community College President Al Lorenzo’s attention.
“MSU’s announcement that it wanted to create a campus for its medical school in metro Detroit generated a high degree of interest throughout the region,” said Lorenzo, who is now an assistant county executive for Macomb County. “Macomb College thought that the new campus would be an excellent addition to its University Center, so working with business leaders throughout the county, physicians, hospitals, labor groups and in partnership with the county’s Planning and Economic Development Department, the college submitted a proposal to MSU.”
Lorenzo said after two years of evaluating competing proposals, MSU finally said “yes” to Macomb County. It took another two years to build the state-of-the-art facility, which is located at 44575 Garfield Road in Clinton Township.
“Now the vision has become a reality and it is producing the results we hoped would occur,” he said, referring to graduates like Marsh. “Dr. Marsh is a perfect example of that. She grew up in Macomb and she intends to practice here at the end of her residency. What we dreamed would happen is now happening and it is personally rewarding for those of us who had a hand in bringing a Big 10 medical school to Macomb County.”
For more information on University Center, visit http://www.macomb.edu/future-students/choose-program/university-center/index.html.