Michael Greenwood played for the UND football team
that won three North Central Conference championships
and placed second in the nation in 2003.
Athlete As Physician
Outstanding athletes bring qualities of leadership, self-discipline and time management to the study and practice of medicine
Some of the same attributes that propel a successful athlete are present and necessary in the making of a good physician.
A commitment to “teamwork and communication skills” are among the qualities an athlete brings to the profession of medicine, says Michael Greenwood, first-year medical student and president of the MD Class of 2011.
Over the years, he’s played sports “with a couple hundred people,” he says, noting that athletic competition draws “a broad range of people who come together for a specific goal.”
“Leadership skills, both on and off the field,” are critical to achieving success, he notes. “You have to persevere through the bad times, take control and get things going in the direction you want them to go.”
Recently named the North Central Conference (NCC) Male Student Athlete of the Year, Greenwood has distinguished himself as an exceptional leader and outstanding athlete, who played UND varsity football in the defensive role of free safety. His team won three conference championships and his class of teammates won more games than any other in UND’s history.
Greenwood, son of John (B.S. ’71, J.D. ’75) and Susan Greenwood (B.S. ’74) of Jamestown, ND, also has been selected to receive a 2007 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Postgraduate Scholarship. He was one of only 29 male students, in fall sports, to receive the scholarship which is awarded to outstanding student-athletes who excel academically and athletically.
“I’ve known Mike for many years, and this scholarship award is well-deserved,” said Roger Thomas, NCC commissioner and former UND football coach, Grand Forks. “Mike has proven that he is among the top scholar-athletes in the country and in the NCC. I know this award will be put to good use, as he pursues his education to become a physician.” Greenwood played varsity football for the UND Fighting Sioux, under Coach Dale Lennon.
Jane Ostlie, fourth-year medical student, is “a big proponent of exercise” who encourages patients to adopt a physically active lifestyle. As an undergraduate student, she played with a conference-winning basketball team at Wheaton (IL) College.
Competitive sports “changed my character in ways that make me a good medical student and, I hope, will make me a good physician,” says Jane Ostlie, fourth-year medical student from Northwood, ND, who played for a conference-winning basketball team at Wheaton (IL) College.
She credits sports with instilling a drive for excellence and discipline she uses daily to meet the rigorous demands of medical school.
“It sounds like a cliché, but to do well, you need to expect to do well. We learned that in sports, that
commitment to excellence (and) to success.”
Ostlie, who plans a career in family medicine, sees exercise as an essential component of preventative health care. Her stance as “a big proponent of exercise, I exercise every day” makes her more credible to patients, she asserts. “It’s hard to recommend to patients that they need to exercise if you’re not exercising.”
Ostlie is the daughter of Laurie (B.S.P.T. ‘78) and Jonathan Berg, M.D., clinical assistant professor of familiy and community medicine, Northwoord.
Dawn Mattern, M.D. ’97, Minot, ND, one of only two sports medicine fellowship-trained physicians in North Dakota, sees patients with sports-related injuries and non-operative conditions in her practice at Trinity Health.
She played on a North Dakota State University women’s basketball team that won two national championships in Division II.
“I can relate to my patients who are athletes a litte more,” she says. “I’ve been through just about anything
you can think of... and I?believe it’s important to focus on what we can do to prevent injury.”
The six-foot-tall, gifted athlete who grew up in Mohall and Minot says time management is essential to her ability “to stay on top of things,” she says. Her busy lifestyle is packed with “a full day of clinic followed by games” in the evening.
“If I don’t get my stuff done, I’m in trouble.”
- Pamela D. Knudson