All in the Family

A personal experience shapes student’s professional choice of osteopathic medicine

August 30, 2018
Caroline Basta (left) in the lab with a fellow student at Touro College Osteopathic Medicine.
Caroline Basta (left) in the lab with a fellow student at Touro College Osteopathic Medicine.

A year later, as Caroline applied to medical schools, she recalled how the doctor of osteopathic medicine had helped her mother and decided to include DO schools on her list of potential schools. “My goal was to obtain an excellent medical education at a school that wasn’t a long drive away from my family in New Jersey,” she explains. Touro’s collegial environment, modern facilities and excellent teaching appealed to Caroline. When she decided on Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM), her mother was thrilled. “In fact,” says Caroline, “I now show my mother the osteopathic manipulative treatments that I learn.”

At TouroCOM, Caroline likes the intimate community and how the faculty is so approachable and knowledgeable. “My professors are very easy to talk to and eager to offer advice on ways to approach learning challenging material,” she says. “The students all work together; it’s a very positive place,” she adds. In addition, Caroline appreciates the study of osteopathy and how it is showing her the interconnection of functions in the body. “By learning osteopathic manipulative medicine, I feel like I have an extra tool to use when I’m assessing and treating patients,” she says. “For instance, not all patient complaints need medical intervention. Some ailments, such as muscular pain, can be treated conservatively by osteopathic manipulative treatments.”

For as long as Caroline can remember, she has always planned to have a career in medicine like her parents, who share a pediatric practice. “I grew up surrounded by doctors and often spent time at my parents' offices,” she explains. Although Caroline began TouroCOM without any preconceived idea of the area of practice in which she would one day specialize, once she began rotations, Caroline was drawn to pediatrics. “I tried to keep an open mind while I was trying out different specialties,” she recalls. “But I so enjoyed treating kids. They are so light-hearted. It’s hard to have a bad day when you are around them. I like the idea of developing relationships with young children and their parents. You get to know them from newborns to young adults.”