AUC grad Farzad Amiri
AUC graduate Farzad Amini (above, right) was recently named Resident of the Month for August at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, where he's undergoing his surgery residency. He's pictured here with Farid Mozaffari, MD, director of MU's surgery residency program.

When Class of 2012 graduate Farzad Amiri, MD was named Resident of the Month for August 2015 at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine (MU) in West Virginia, he used one word to describe how he felt: “Humbled.”

Why humbled?  For one thing, Dr. Amiri—currently in the third year of his surgery residency at MU—was selected from more than 300 residents for this award. To be recognized as a top resident after only about a year and a half on the job, he says, was a tremendous honor.

But what really struck him, he says, was who actually nominated him for the award. It wasn’t his peers, or the residency program director. It was actually a group of medical school students that he teaches at MU.

That was personally significant. And it meant a lot.

Teaching Students More Than Medicine

The clinical years are formative ones for medical school students, Dr. Amiri notes, and current residents have a responsibility to teach and mentor clinical students, just as he was once taught himself.

“During my own clinical years, I had the opportunity to rotate with Columbia University medical school students, with New York College of Medicine students, and I learned one thing: All medical school students are the same,” says Amiri. “They all want to learn, and it’s important for residents to really take a mentorship role with them. People sometimes take that for granted.”

Dr. Amiri had a resident teach him, hands-on and from the ground up, during his own medical education. “He taught me the same things I teach the students I currently work with,” he says. “I don’t just teach students about medicine. I teach them how to be good physicians, and that it’s important to be thoughtful to others.”

Past Lessons from AUC Still Apply Now

He learned that distinction—the difference between understanding medical knowledge and applying that knowledge to be a good, empathetic doctor—in part from his studies at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC). Qualities like empathy, teamwork, and mentorship are all very much engrained in AUC’s cultural fabric, and Dr. Amiri readily agrees that AUC’s focus on these attributes helped shape him, both as a medical school student and as a physician.

“AUC did teach me a lot about how to be a person—how to grow, overall, as a human being,” he says. “Some people might think it’s a disadvantage to go to a Caribbean medical school, but I think it’s all about life experiences. If I hadn’t gone to AUC, I wouldn’t have had the good fortune to rotate through such prestigious hospitals. Like Cleveland Clinic, for [my] neurology [clinical rotation]—I didn’t realize how amazing it was until I was actually there.”

Dr. Amiri attended Florida Atlantic University for undergrad, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biology. Before being selected for residency training at MU, he completed an intern year at Stamford Hospital (a Columbia University affiliate) in Stamford, CT, and then a PGY-2 preliminary year at Lenox Hill Hospital/North Shore-LIJ Health System, New York, NY.

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Gerry Kimbrough

Posted October 02, 2015 10:17 AM

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