COM student named Quality Scholar by the American College of Medical Quality

Joanna Sajdlowska (D.O., ’22)
Joanna Sajdlowska (D.O., ’22)

University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNE COM) student Joanna Sajdlowska (D.O., ’22) has been named a Quality Scholar by the American College of Medical Quality (ACMQ).

Sajdlowska is one of only two medical students to receive the award and is the only one studying osteopathic medicine. A native of the Bronx, New York City, Sajdlowska completed her bachelor’s degree in pre-medical sciences at the University of Connecticut, where she also earned her Master of Science in Health Promotion Sciences.

Sajdlowska completed 1,700 hours of AmeriCorps service through the Connecticut Area Health Education Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and delivering community outreach initiatives. Applying previously learned lessons, she worked as a research assistant at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center addressing health disparities among children with autism.

She said her time between her graduate studies and starting at UNE COM was formative.

“The four years between completing my undergraduate degree and attending UNE COM helped me understand the complexity and connections between academia, research, and politics,” she said.

Sajdlowska has brought her enthusiasm for research and passion for health equity to UNE COM, where she has served as health disparities director, and later president, of UNE’s chapter of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA). This past year, Sajdlowska completed a term on the SOMA National Board of Trustees, serving as Region I Trustee, where she oversaw 11 SOMA medical chapters within nine states.

“Serving on a national board during a pandemic and through multiple sociopolitical movements was a demanding, yet rewarding, task and one that helped emphasize the strength of student voices on behalf of the osteopathic medical community and our future patients,” she said of the experience.

In her second year at UNE COM, Sajdlowska served as the political affairs director for the Maine Student Section of the Maine Medical Association, where, this past year, she also completed a term as co-chair.

Sajdlowska is currently completing her Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship with Northern Light Health. She said her educational and life experiences have inspired her to pursue research and to address health inequalities when she matches to a residency program next year.

“My past experiences before and during medical school, as well as my experience as a first-generation American, have allowed me to develop a passion for learning about and addressing health disparities,” she said. “I hope that the residency program that I match into aligns with my desire to continue interprofessional collaboration, community service, and research and is one that emphasizes care for populations that are underserved and medically marginalized.”

In addition to the ACMQ award, Sajdlowska has been accepted into the Golden Humanism Honor Society and is the recipient of the $5,000 Pulaski Scholarship for Advanced Studies.

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