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Feb. 11, 2020

Ellie Small: Honoring a teacher and mentor

Feb. 13, 2020

Ellie Small is a second-year medical student in the College of Osteopathic Medicine and president of Detroit Street Care. Richard Bryce, an assistant professor and physician in the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Small's teacher and mentor, was recently honored with the Michigan State University Sustained Effort Toward Excellence in Diversity Award this month.

Selfless, humble and altruistic. These are just a few of the characteristics that someone I’m fortunate enough to call a teacher, mentor and role model, possesses. This person never hesitates to go above and beyond for his students and patients alike. 

His perseverant attitude, impeccable reliability and constant push for improvement fosters an environment of collaboration and inclusivity, and mindset of confidence and empowerment. 

The person I’m speaking about is Richard Bryce, and he is a role model for all.

He serves as the faculty adviser of Detroit Street Care, or DSC, a student organization in the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, dedicated to providing medical care to individuals experiencing homelessness in Detroit through shelter-based care and street outreach.

I am the president of DSC, and I have borne firsthand witness to the love and compassion Dr. Bryce pours into this important work. 

When caring for the needs of this unique and vulnerable population, Bryce leads students by example to foster trusting relationships, preserve and promote patient autonomy and create inclusive rapport through compassionate listening and treatment with dignity. 

He serves as an advocate and ally for his patients and students alike, while constantly striving for improvement and expansion of the ways we serve our underserved neighbors here in Detroit. 

As the College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Detroit Community Service Representative for the Class of 2022, I’ve worked with Bryce to organize volunteers for an event he created, the CHASS 5K, which has helped fill an important patient need in Mexican Town for safe and accessible forms of exercise. 

He’s crafted an inclusive solution to engage the community and encourage healthy lifestyles and not only is working to engage his community and promote healthy living, he’s actively striving to involve his students in this work. 

Nearly 100 MSU osteopathic medical students volunteered at this year’s event, a number which is rising every year. I believe this is a testament to the impact Bryce has on our college community as a whole. 

While it is fantastic to be a humble, selfless and altruistic physician, it is a whole other feat to translate those values into the training of future physicians. 

By instilling a model of inclusivity and an attitude of respect and humility, Bryce’s efforts extend far beyond him. 

Through his work, teaching and leadership, Bryce is actively shaping his students into open-minded, adaptable future physicians, prepared for careers of selfless service.