Future physician uses computer to speed healing for others


Each year, many University of Akron students take advantage of internships, co-ops and study trips that enhance what they're learning in the classroom. In the latest story in our continuing series featuring some of their unique opportunities for hands-on learning, we're focusing on Jon Montemayor, an honors student and pre-med major whose work this past summer helped wound care patients.

During an eight-week fellowship, UA senior Jon Montemayor spent much of his time working on this computer at Akron General Medical Center's Wound Healing and Limb Preservation Center.

University of Akron senior Jon Montemayor is planning for the day, in the not-so-distant future, when he'll be Dr. Jon Montemayor.

He’s already begun to make his mark in the medical field, thanks to a research fellowship he had at Akron General Medical Center's Wound Healing and Limb Preservation Center. The honors student and pre-med major, who is minoring in Spanish, chemistry and bioethics, was selected to work on one of six research projects available over the summer at the hospital.

"I created a spreadsheet to evaluate all the wound care products used at Akron General," explains Montemayor, who worked full-time over the course of the eight-week fellowship.

Healing helped by the numbers

"First, I researched different wound care dressings and devices, then I devised one tool with all the complex calculations made that would determine their effectiveness from every aspect," Montemayor continues. "I focused on biological/cellular wound dressings because they make it easier for the skin to grow back, so patients heal faster and better."

The study compared the products on a wide variety of parameters — from absorbency and healing rates to the procedures required to apply them and costs. Medical personnel at the Wound Center will use the results as they develop individualized treatment plans for their patients, who often have underlying medical conditions that make the healing process more difficult.

Montemayor's work, which can be used to evaluate future products as well, was done under the direction of Dr. Eliot Mostow. A dermatologist, Mostow chairs both the Dermatology Section at Northeast Ohio Medical University and the Wound Healing Biomarkers Team for the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron.

Patient care up close

The UA student didn't spend all his time at the computer. He shadowed some of the doctors as they treated patients, so he had opportunities to see the effectiveness of different types of wound dressings.

Now completing his last year on campus, Montemayor also serves as peer adviser coordinator at UA's Career Center. He is a member of Phi Delta Epsilon Pre-medical Fraternity, Omicron Delta Kappa Honors Society and Phi Sigma Alpha.

A native of Madrid, Spain, Montemayor was drawn to study at The University of Akron because his mother grew up in the area and earned a B.A. in Spanish at UA. Now his parents, Maria Sibila and Daniel Montemayor, await word, along with their son, on where he has been accepted for medical school.

"I'm interested in different aspects of medicine, but I'm especially interested in the sensory organs, perhaps ophthalmology or specializing in the ear, nose and throat," says Montemayor.

"My research this summer relates to medical school and my work as a physician," he adds. "Many physicians do research and publish papers in journals. This experience will prepare me for what goes into publishing. It will be very valuable for me when I become a doctor."

Also in this series:

UA student puts classroom lessons to use in Joplin

Co-ops at NASA set engineering student on new trajectory

Bliss Institute internships open doors to world of politics