Spotlight on Medical Education


Spotlight on Medical Education

I was ten years old when I found myself on
a stretcher at Boston Children’s Hospital with IV lines coming out of my arms, being
rolled down a hallway into an operating room because my supraventricular tachycardia, and
that day my doctors cured me, and I walked out of Boston Children’s Hospital knowing
that I wanted to become a physician so that I could repay the physicians who had given
me a second chance at life. I grew up in poverty in a really dangerous
area in Chicago. My mother was a first generation immigrant. We were coal miners, north-central Illinois. Coming to Harvard, it was like going to Mars. Medicine’s always been a dream for me ever
since I was a little kid. I knew I wanted to do something where I would
work directly with others. For me, it represented a natural intersection
between my love for science and my love for public service. We always tell the students that you don’t
just come here to learn medicine. You come here to learn how to learn medicine
for a lifetime, and we have to make sure that people from all backgrounds can come and get
the benefit of a Harvard education so that they can go out and really make a difference
in the world. When I got the acceptance letter, I was very
excited. And I remember my father stopped what he was
doing, and he started to cry, and he said to me, “this is why we came to this country.” Coming to Harvard opens doors. And then getting the financial aid letters,
like the key door that opens the lock, and actually lets you come inside. Financial aid played a huge role. When I received my financial aid package,
I couldn’t stop smiling. I was absolutely ecstatic. So there was this moment when I realized that
the numbers would add up. An investment in Harvard’s financial aid program
means that you’re giving students, particularly those who come from low income or working
class backgrounds, the opportunity to train at one of the world’s best medical institutions. I think when a donor supports student scholarships,
they have more of a ripple effect than almost anything else they can do. People think, “well, Harvard has such a big
endowment surely we don’t need more money.” Most of that endowment is highly restricted
and only a small percentage is for student financial aid.” If you are here, there is an expectation that
you will do something great, and if I can build a medical school that will educate students
the way I was educated then I am giving back to Harvard by doing that. I see myself playing the roles of a surgeon,
a researcher, and a leader in health care. The biggest thing that I can do for anyone
on this planet is show them that they have someone here to support them, and if I can
do that to one person, my life is a success. It means that you not only change the life
of that student, but it also means that you get to change the lives of all of the patients
that student goes on to serve as a physician and a healer for. I think knowing that support for financial
aid comes from donors encourages us as current students to pay it forward in the future. I work with children who might not have role
models, and they look like me and have similar backgrounds to what I have, and when I can
tell them that, “yes, your dream of becoming a doctor is possible, and you can go to Harvard
Medical School,” there’s nothing that can beat that. We really rely on the generosity of our alumni
and other donors to ensure that we can continue to recruit the very best students here and
make sure they can come when they’re given the chance, and I wanna give them that chance
so they can fulfill their dreams.

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4 thoughts on “Spotlight on Medical Education”

  1. kikthatcan says:

    This is too funny… So because you charge way too much, you are asking the alumni for more, ones who have already paid a fortune… Abraham would be proud

  2. Milad Ghasemi says:

    There is no feeling that could describe Hardvard University.

  3. Milad Ghasemi says:

    I wish that maybe I have chance to visite Harvard Medical University…

  4. Roberto Henriquez says:


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