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Class of 2024 Graduate Profile: Charlie Spieser

April 8, 2024
Class of 2024 graduate Charlie Spieser

Class of 2024 graduate Charlie Spieser is from Loveland, Ohio and earned a B.S. in biology and a minor in German from Miami University. He matched in orthopedic surgery at Kettering Health Dayton.

What was your childhood like? Who were your inspirations? Was there anything critical that happened that brought you to this point in life?

My childhood was built around problem solving. I always challenged myself, whether it was through sports, Legos, or video games. My biggest inspiration was my mom. As a small business owner, she is the perfect model for leading by example. Her ingenuity and relentless work ethic are traits that I believe I was able to emulate and helped me to excel throughout medical school. 

What led you to medical school?

My experience shadowing a D.O. in middle school and high school showed me how each patient presents their own unique puzzle. He showed me that comprehensive consideration of patient lifestyle and social factors is critical to providing appropriate treatment. The marriage of caring for patients through problem solving and connecting with patients' stories drew me to medicine.

What was the most impactful experience you had while in medical school?

Enrolling in the elective Open Book Project was one of the most impactful experiences I recall from pre-clinical years. The Open Book Project is a narrative medicine elective that challenges students to step away from the basic sciences and embrace the use of art and storytelling to better understand the world around them. Through the practice of active listening and thoughtful interpretation, one can better understand the impact that patient's social lives have on their health and well being. Spending time engaging with other students and faculty around art pieces was a great social connection and helped me to retain an appreciation for the perspectives that others provide.

What was the most important lesson you learned while in medical school?

Time management. As a medical student, as a resident, as a physician there is a never ending list of tasks to complete on your to-do list. Learning how to prioritize the things that are most important while still making time for activities that make you unique is what allows exceptional individuals to reach their peak potential. I hope to be one of those someday.

Were you involved in research? If so, could you share more about what you worked on?

I was involved with research as an orthopedic surgery summer researcher at Grandview. I was involved in multiple case reports and a meta-analysis about the cost-effectiveness and waste-reduction benefits of wide-awake local anesthetic no tourniquet (WALANT) surgery of the hand. My time spent working with residents and attending physicians helped me to better understand the process of reviewing literature and build relationships with physicians who have become great mentors.

What are you most excited about for your future?

I am most excited for the opportunity to train as an orthopedic surgery resident at Kettering Health Dayton. Watching a dream materialize as a result of your own work is incredibly rewarding, and to be able to utilize that dream to help others is an unbelievable gift.

Who has helped you along the way? Is there anyone you want to recognize?

The unwavering support of my parents, Ayn and John, deserves recognition first and foremost. They constantly challenged me to think critically and find the principles I wish to stand upon. Dr. Brian Crellin has served as an incredible mentor for me since I was in eighth grade and initially became interested in medicine. Dr. Crellin was inviting and eager to pass along his knowledge in an easily digestible manner, allowing an eighth grader to feel like they were learning something. 

How do you like to spend your free time?

I enjoy spending my free time collecting and listening to vinyl records, playing video games, and watching and playing sports including soccer, football and hockey. My vinyl collection consists of every genre from the 1960's to now, from John Prine and Iggy Pop to Kamasi Washington and The War on Drugs. My favorite video game franchises are Fallout and Tomb Raider. My favorite sports teams are Arsenal, the University of Oregon and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

What didn’t I ask that you’d like to share?

I'd like to share my advice for anyone who has made it this far. Stay curious, stay positive and stay humble.