UW School of Medicine Alumni Association
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The Big Leap
From the circus to medical school, one student charts his own course.
Jonathan Trejo doesn’t remember the exact moment he decided to become a doctor, but he remembers the precise moment he wanted to feel free.
He’d just broken up with his boyfriend and found himself, alone on his 24th birthday, at Cirque du Soleil. Even in his sadness, he was astounded by the strength, grace and joy of the acrobats.Read More >
An alumni couple reflects on their lives together.
It was the first day of medical school, and Stefan Chimoskey — clutching a cup of coffee — was hurrying to his seat in the lecture hall. Then his heart stopped: There was a pretty, dark-haired young woman at the bottom of the stairs. Seeing the cup, she smiled at him and said, “Hey, that looks good.”
In what was to become a family legend, Stefan Chimoskey, MD ’99, MBA, extended the cup and blurted, “Would you like some?”Read More >
An alumnus views his work and world through a special lens.
When he was just 8 years old, Mahesh Thapa, M.D., MEd, FAAP, Res. ’05, Fel. ’06, moved from Nepal to Las Vegas. It was a case of extremes. He’d left a country with some of the highest mountains on earth to a state containing one of the brightest spots on earth — the Las Vegas Strip.
Needless to say, there was a bit of culture shock.Read More >
The Triple Crown
Generations of mentoring for women of science.
When you do research, a lot can go wrong: Your experiment fails. Your funding is denied. Your experiment fails, again.
“In research, you need a lot of perseverance. You need to be smart and organized, but you also need to have passion — and grit above all else — to get past the setbacks,” says Liz Swisher, M.D., Res. ’93, a UW professor in obstetrics and gynecology.
When Swisher finds someone who has that grit — she helps them. After all, that is what her mentors did for her.Read More >
From the Ground Up
An alumnus reflects on his volunteer work in helping build a Kenyan hospital.
Fourteen years ago, Ukwala was a small, dusty town in western Kenya. Today, it has been transformed by the Matibabu Foundation Hospital, located at its center. Businesses have sprung up nearby to serve the people who visit, providing food, lodging and other services to families and volunteers.Read More >
Going Back to Montana
KayCee Gardner, M.D., fulfills her dream of taking care of people (and cattle) in her home state.
For some, the dream of becoming a doctor begins in childhood. But not for alumna KayCee Gardner, M.D. ’12 — although she had role models, none of them happened to be doctors. At the time, there were absolutely no doctors in Hammond, the town closest to her family’s 20,000-acre sheep and cattle ranch in southeastern Montana.Read More >
A family of medical professionals puts down roots in Spokane.
“My mother is a spitfire,” says Mara Hazeltine, a fourth-year medical student at the UW School of Medicine. “She was one of the first from her family to emigrate from the Philippines. For her, it was about creating the best life for me.”Read More >
The Pivotal Moment
A faculty member’s long-ago kindness inspires an alum to give.
It was the first day of classes at the UW School of Medicine, but instead of attending anatomy class, one first-year medical student was hiding in the student union. Anxious and overwhelmed, he flipped through a newspaper, drinking cup after cup of coffee and wondering what on earth he’d gotten himself into. For Gilbert Smith, M.D. ’64, it was almost the end of his medical career — before it even began.Read More >
Ready for Mindfulness?
Being “in the present” helps reduce student stress.
How long does it take to eat a raisin? If you eat it mindfully, it could take several minutes, according to Craig Scott, Ph.D., UW professor emeritus in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education.
“You think about what the raisin is and all the people involved in getting it into your hand,” says Scott. “That slowing down is so important.”Read More >
Committing to a new country and a life of service.
When Shashi Kumar, M.D., Res. ’77, accepted her first job, she was quick to relate the good news to Walter C. Stolov, M.D., then the chair of rehabilitation medicine. And he told her (in so many words) that she’d taken a job with a khaki dress code.
“I joined Madigan not realizing that I was actually joining the U.S. Army!” says Colonel Kumar, UW clinical associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. “It was the best professional decision of my life.”Read More >