Helou, Marie Named LMU-DCOM Student Doctors of the Year

Helou and Marie

Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) students Michael Helou and Blaine Marie have each been selected as an LMU-DCOM Student Doctor of the Year (SDOY). Helou will represent Harrogate and Marie will represent Knoxville as LMU-DCOM candidates for the National SDOY award presented annually by the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP) at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) annual meeting in April. 

The SDOY award is presented to students who go above and beyond the average osteopathic medical student and are recognized for their leadership, commitment to community service, dedication to the profession, professionalism and the embodiment of the osteopathic philosophy. Nominations are sent in by the student body and reviewed by the school selection committee that includes members of the Student Government Association (SGA), faculty and the dean. 

Helou, of the Northern Virgina area, near Washington D.C., attended Virginia Tech for his undergraduate degree. He later enrolled at LMU to pursue a master’s degree. In 2018, he joined the Cumberland Gap Volunteer Fire Department, rising through the ranks, ultimately becoming assistant chief. In addition to volunteering with the fire department, he serves as the class of 2024 president and served as student body president for a time.  

While finding time to manage his coursework and volunteering hours, Helou, along with a pulmonary physiologist, researched the effects of vaping, vaping flavors and the bacterial growth that could happen.  

He has always had a love for medicine, telling his parents at a young age he - “wanted to deliver babies.”- His passion led him to volunteer at hospitals in high schools and shadow physicians. Helou has many interests in medicine and said regardless of his specialty, his field and practice will be rewarding.  

Helou was an active voting member in providing an insurance option for students through LMU-DCOM. He also helped vote in the SGA’s diversity chair, making them a voting member and orchestrated a diversity and inclusion committee.   

“I loved serving my class and my community as a firefighter, and this distinction as SDOY shows me the appreciation of my service over the years,” he said. “Often times I had to finish exams and run to meetings or spend the nights before exams in late Zoom meetings or alleviating things for my class - this makes all that worth it.” 

Marie was born in Johnson City, Tennessee but grew up in Knoxville. She received her undergraduate degree from Maryville College, where she majored in neuroscience, psychology track, and double minored in theatre and statistics. She also received a master’s degree in integrative neuroscience from Georgetown University.  

Her medical school journey began in 2020 and she was selected as an anatomy scholar for the 2022-2023 academic year. Blaine is a member of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Bureau of Emerging Leaders Communication Workgroup, Gold Humanism Honor Society, the Medical School Pride Alliance and a former executive board member of the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP), among several other clubs and organizations.  

Marie is interested in fields such as psychiatry, family medicine and neurology. She is working on completing her internal medicine and pediatrics rotations. During her time as a student, she was elected to serve as the second vice chair of the COSGP where she was at the forefront of integrating wellness into osteopathic curriculums nationwide. Additionally, she created a virtual Wellness Toolbox containing resources, event ideas and support tools to ensure campus culture honors student wellness.                                                                           

Becoming a doctor is one way she feels she can give back to her community while helping people in need. Being a lifelong learner, she feels her best when she is pursuing new knowledge and learning as much as possible about the human body and brain.  

“As students, it is so easy to look at our preceptors and teachers as the model of all that we have yet to learn, but we are exactly where we need to be on this journey. Whether through interactions with my peers or the students I tutor, I try to remind people, and myself, that we have all been through darknesses along this journey,” Marie said “As Student Doctor of the Year, I am honored that my personal philosophy of "people before patients" rings true in the hearts of those who nominated me.” 

The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. LMU-DCOM is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of osteopathic physicians to provide health care in the often-underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DCOM, call 1.800.325.0900, ext. 7082, email dcom@LMUnet.edu, or visit us online at http://med.LMUnet.edu. 

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