Student-athlete. All-American. Medical school scholar. And now – National Student Doctor of the Year.
Former Brooklyn Campus basketball standout Michael Megafu ’16 has made a habit of succeeding, be it on the basketball court, in the classroom or on surgery rotations.
Accolades have a way of sticking to him, and earlier this year, he was named the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine’s 2023 National Student Doctor of the Year.
“It is a privilege to be chosen amongst other institutions’ Student Doctors of the Year and to be the overall representative and winner of this award,” said Megafu, who graduated from St. Joseph’s with a bachelor’s degree in biology. “The prestige of this award is that I was chosen out of many qualified students across all osteopathic medical schools, making it highly competitive.”
Megafu is a fourth-year medical student at A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri, and was the institution’s 2023 nominee for the honor. Students can self-nominate for the award or be nominated by faculty, staff or other students.
Candidates are judged based on professional development, community service, and accomplishments achieved before attending and during medical school. Megafu is the third ATSU student named National Student Doctor of the Year since 2016.
“This award means so much because I was identified as the student doctor that stands out as a role model to my peers,” he said. “It speaks to my work ethic, compassion for people, and commitment to service, and represents my love for patient-centered care.”
Living the University’s Creed
Megafu credits his hard-working nature and desire to achieve his dreams for his accomplishments. He was turned away from medical schools after graduating from SJNY and opted to instead pursue a Master of Public Health from SUNY Downstate. In 2018, he reapplied and was accepted into ATSU.
Persistence is a trait Megafu developed while playing basketball. He balanced a rigorous class schedule and commitments to the Brooklyn Campus men’s basketball team for four years, becoming one of the best players in program history.
Upon completing his playing career, he ranked fifth all-time in program history in scoring and second in rebounds and blocks. A two-time United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) All-American, Megafu was recognized as one of the nation’s top student-athletes in 2015-16 when he garnered CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.
He recalls the St. Joseph’s University motto, Esse non videri — “To be, not to seem,” when reflecting on his career up to this point.
“Our motto simply means doing what you put your mind to and ensuring full accomplishment of your goals,” he said. “It is not enough to envision it; you must see it through.”