Featured Fellow: Grayson Buning, Bridging Science and Compassion in Medicine

Alyssa Papa
Feb 8, 2024

Meet Grayson Buning, the 2023 1897 Fellow from the University of Michigan Chapter, whose passion for medicine is rooted in personal experience and a profound sense of empathy. Majoring in biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience, Grayson's journey to becoming a physician is driven by a desire to understand the intricate connections between the mind, body, and environment.

Grayson's inspiration stems from his upbringing, where he witnessed firsthand the impact of health challenges on his mother. "Growing up, I was fascinated by the interconnectedness of the body with the outside world," Grayson shares. "My curiosity was driven, at least in part, by distress: my mom suffers from Ankylosing Spondylitis, an inflammatory arthritis."

Through introspection and exploration, Grayson recognized the profound influence of stress on his mother's condition and the inflammatory processes. This realization ignited his passion for understanding the holistic nature of patient care, where individuals are viewed as more than the sum of their symptoms.

"The mind and body are inextricably linked," Grayson emphasizes. "Patients – and diseases – are more than the sum of the systems that sustain them."

Motivated by a desire to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others, Grayson envisions a career in medicine as a platform for advocating for health equity and embracing a compassionate, patient-centered approach. For Grayson, the heart of medicine lies in the stories of individuals like his mothers.

"What draws me to medicine isn't just the potential to use research and advocacy to reduce health disparities," Grayson reflects. "Nor is it just my fascination with the interconnectedness of a person's environment to their biological health. The threads that tie these interests together are the stories that underlie them."

As Grayson embarks on his journey towards becoming a physician, he carries with him a deep sense of empathy, a commitment to understanding the nuances of health and disease, and a dedication to empowering individuals to be the authors of their own lives.

Interested in being the next Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship recipient? Visit, to learn more and apply. You can also download the Applicant 101 Guide for advice.

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