While working at a podiatry practice in Michigan during a gap year between undergraduate college and graduate school, Ashley Ewert, D.O.’21, M.S.A.’19, confirmed for herself that medicine was the only path for her. The physician she worked for helped her confirm that Des Moines University was the right place to find that path.
Originally interested in pursuing a career as an athletic trainer, Ashley realized early in college that she wanted to do more and serve in a leadership capacity. “It’s when I realized that greater interest combined with my passion to give back to the community, that I transferred to another university and switched my major to pre-med.”
During her year off between college and graduate school, 2016-17, Ashley wanted to gain some hands-on experience in the medical field. With the help of a friend, she was introduced to DMU alumnus Stephen Frascone, DPM ’93, a podiatric surgery specialist with Great Lakes Foot and Ankle Institute in Chesterfield, MI. “My friend at the time was working at a podiatric practice and encouraged me to explore the same,” she said. “Although I did not have a particular interest in feet, I couldn’t have been happier to learn after my interview with him that I was offered the medical assistant position in his multi-location practice. I did all my training with him and his patients.”
“Ashley is an amazing young professional who is going to be one to watch in her career,” said Dr. Frascone. “From the day she started, she demonstrated genuine passion for our medical mission to help our patients in every regard. While only with us for one year, she became a valuable asset to our team. I know she will be successful in her medical career.”
Dr. Frascone offered Ashley his guidance when she began applying to medical schools while working in his practice. In particular, he enthusiastically encouraged her to consider Des Moines University. “Why would I go to Iowa?” was Ewert’s immediate reply.
“Just promise me you’ll add it to your list of schools,” he said. At first surprised by the idea of Iowa, Ewert agreed and applied. But Frascone kept the pressure on. Later, he made another request, “Promise me if you are invited for an interview, you’ll visit. It’s one of the best in the nation, so please at least give it a serious look,” he said.
Not long after, Ewert was indeed invited to interview on campus. “I didn’t know what to expect but decided to visit in the same week that I also visited A.T. Still in Missouri,” she said. “And I told Dr. Frascone, ‘Please don’t make me promise that I’ll attend if accepted,’” she implored.
To which he confidently said, “I don’t have to make you promise, because I know that once you visit the campus, you’ll feel how special it is.”
Still uncertain, Ewert made the trip to both schools with her parents. When they asked for her reaction, she said with a broad smile, “He was right.”
“After visiting both schools, I knew without a doubt that DMU was for me. Before leaving campus, I told my parents, ‘This is my medical school.’”