Learning from the Best

I feel privileged to have befriended and learned from a number of amazing physicians, researchers, and teachers over the past several years. I only wish that all young doctors could learn and grow from their interactions with individuals such as these. In order to show my gratitude and also help me chart my own development in a different way (by inspiration and influence), I would like to give my thanks to those who have or had the most greatest influence on me (more or less chronologically). There are many others and there will be many others, but here is a start:

To Dr. Roy S. Weiner of the Tulane Cancer Center, the first physician I ever shadowed, for believing many years ago that someone so young could have reason to be passionate and serious about a career in medicine.

To Dr. Jeffrey M. Drazen of the New England Journal of Medicine, for encouraging me to be strong of mind and decisive, even if that means taking a firm stand on a thin line between two seemingly conflicting sides.

To Dr. Caren G. Solomon of the New England Journal of Medicine, for showing me that it is possible to be a practicing physician, an editor, a medical school and clinical instructor, and an academic leader, all while raising a family – and doing all of them excellently, too.

To Professor Daniel Tschumperlin of the Harvard School of Public Health, for giving me the chance to be an independent thinker while conducting my senior thesis research, and for helping me realize that research can actually be personally rewarding.

To Professor Douglas Melton of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, for teaching me (through his undergraduate/graduate seminar course “Stem Cells and Cloning”) to analyze the world with the appropriate degree of skepticism and criticism.

To Dr. Christopher Murray of the Harvard School of Public Health and formerly of the World Health Organization, for teaching me (through his undergraduate course “International Public Health”) to take a step back in order to see the bigger picture and the broader implications of health care initiatives and my own efforts.

To Dr. Jeffrey G. Wiese of Tulane University School of Medicine, for teaching me (through his clinical skills training component of the course “Foundations in Medicine”) to abandon, upon entering the doors of medical school, the weak tendency to be judgmental of others, and for teaching me the value of excellence in patient interviewing, physical examination, and quantitative analysis in clinical diagnostics.

To Dr. Sandor Vigh of Tulane University School of Medicine, his Anatomy instructor staff (of accomplished, retired surgeons), and anonymous, the cadaver donor, for teaching me the beauty of the functional human body.

To Dr. Frederick J. Kushner of West Jefferson Hospital, for showing me how to truly gain the trust and respect of one’s patients.

To Miya E. Bernson, a future physician, for reminding me to always view each person I meet, whether for the first time or the last time, as a fellow human being, and for inspiring me to believe in the practice of medicine as being one of the greatest expressions of humanity and commonality.

And to my father, Professor Wai-Choi Leung, for instilling in me, despite all the hardship and setbacks my family has suffered across generations, the unshakeable desire to change the world for good.

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