Buckhannon, WV—Each year, approximately one percent of all college graduates are admitted to medical school throughout the United States. That statistical fact makes the success of one family of three Wesleyan alumni sisters most noteworthy.
Monique ’14, Michelle ’15, and Melissa ’15 pursued medical school at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine after earning a bachelor of science in biology from Wesleyan.
Monique Oye is working as an Internal Medicine Resident Physician in Jacksonville, FL and plans to specialize in Hematology-Oncology. Michelle Oye is working as an Internal Medicine Specialist in Morgantown and plans to specialize in Rheumatology. Melissa Oye graduated from medical school this month and will be working at the same hospital as her sister, Monique. She also plans to pursue a career in Internal Medicine but has yet to choose her specialty.
A career in medicine is not a new concept for the Oye family. The sisters’ dad, Dr. Herbert Oye, is a vascular surgeon in Beckley. “Our passion from medicine stems from watching our dad and knowing how much he enjoys his work,” stated Melissa. “Although he worked extremely long hours, he always had a positive attitude, high spirits, and a smile on his face. We saw the compassion he had for his patients, visiting them at their homes, making jokes, and even dancing to lift their spirits. We wanted to replicate his compassion and care for patients with the same delicacy, and use our knowledge to better the lives of others.”
The three Woodrow Wilson High School graduates, who grew up in Clarksburg before moving to Beckley, chose Wesleyan for its stellar academic reputation. “We knew successful Wesleyan alumni who encouraged us to consider the school in our college search,” added Melissa. “Once Monique went to Wesleyan and had a great first year, Michelle and I decided to follow her footsteps. We valued the small, close-knit family atmosphere Wesleyan offered and we wanted to have personal, one-on-one relationships with our professors.”
“As we planned on attending medical school, we also knew the importance of having personalized letters of recommendation written by professors who truly know their students,” continued Melissa. “The small class sizes and having various classes taught by the same professor within Wesleyan’s Biology Department promoted a great environment to establish strong connections with our fellow classmates and faculty.”
The Oye sisters each had a favorite mentor during their Wesleyan experience. “Dr. Melanie Sal was my mentor,” stated Monique. “She made lectures and learning enjoyable and I was pleasantly surprise at my level of knowledge about microbiology when I started medical school.”
“My Wesleyan mentor was Dr. Jeanne Sullivan,” added Michelle. ”She was a very devoted professor and so passionate about teaching. Every lecture was so well prepared and I have considered the possibility of academic medicine because of her example. If I do pursue that route someday, I hope I can connect and engage my students as effortlessly as she did.”
“My Wesleyan mentor was my Freshman Seminar Leader, Dr. Jess Scott,” stated Melissa. “She opened my mind to a new way of thinking, analyzing the world, and recognizing the privileges and injustices that exist in our society. The lessons I learned from her will serve me throughout life and contribute to me becoming a better physician.”
The Oye sisters have many fond memories of their Wesleyan experience. “I loved the community engagement opportunities and my fondest memory is the philanthropic work I was able to participate in at The Ronald McDonald House,” said Monique. “Often those in compromising health circumstances need a listening ear, a hug, smile, and a home-cooked meal. By spending time there, I gained a purpose.”
“I loved being a part of the Community for Center Engagement’s WE LEAD program,” added Michelle. “It provided me with the opportunity to cook dinner for residents at the Rosenbaum House and bring light to their lives despite the tough times they were enduring with family members in the hospital.”
“I will always be grateful for the lasting friendships I made at Wesleyan,” concluded Melissa. “The friends I made the first day of my freshman year are still my close friends today. We look back and see how far we have come and how proud we are of each other for pursuing our professional careers. We always talked about who we wanted to be and now we are becoming those people.”