Candidate to represent the School of Arts & Sciences on the Alumni Council.
STATEMENT: At the age of 13, I left my home in Iran and landed in Massachusetts to attend high school. As an international student, my dream of pursuing a medical degree in the United States was nearly unattainable. Tufts made that dream possible. Whatever I have asked, Tufts has given me that and more.
I arrived at Tufts for international orientation in the fall of 1988. I immediately felt part of a supportive community. I had hoped to have a good roommate during my freshman year. My roommate was an international student from Panama. Oliver Chapman was not just my roommate; he became my brother. He was such an incredible person, Tufts named an award and a scholarship for him.
I hoped my years at Tufts would help my journey of self-discovery. Two Iranian students and I restarted the Iranian club (Persepolis) and taught an experimental college class in Farsi. I was an active member of the International Club, where I served as an officer during my sophomore year. I was an International Orientation host advisor for three years. Tufts not only helped me define my own Iranian-American identity, but it also wove that identity into a tight-knit multicultural community where I could grow. Oliver and my closest friends introduced me to Latin music and dance. This shy nervous biology major from Iran underwent a metamorphosis and danced merengue on stage in several Intercultural Festivals.
I came to Tufts for a pre-med education. Tufts topped that with a liberal arts education. I took more history classes than my biology major courses. I studied Spanish, calligraphy, and even philosophy. I graduated in 1992 cum laude with a B.S. in Biology and a certificate in the Community Health Program.
When it was time for me to leave the Hill, Tufts opened more doors for me. Although nearly all American medical schools rejected international students, Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) accepted me. At TUSM, I was a co-president of the organization for multicultural students. A favorite professor sparked my interest in clinical research. My mentor introduced me to an energetic radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), who supervised my research and launched my career in radiology. Before I finished medical school, Tufts provided me with one more adventure: I spent a month studying infectious disease in Mexico City. I graduated in 1997 with Alpha Omega Alpha honors with an M.D. and a certificate in the Research Concentration Program. I completed my residency in diagnostic radiology and my fellowship in musculoskeletal radiology at MGH. After a second fellowship in pediatric radiology at Boston Children’s Hospital, MGH hired me as a staff radiologist in 2003. My journey of becoming a physician had finally become a reality, much of it owed to Tufts.
Tufts has remained a presence throughout most of my career. In 2006, I accepted a position at Newton-Wellesley Hospital where I was a clinical instructor in radiology at TUSM. I was the co-director of the medical student clerkship in radiology and received teaching awards. I moved to Cambridge Health Alliance in 2019, where I have had an opportunity to fulfill a dream to serve immigrants. Although I now have a faculty position at Harvard Medical School, I frequently work at Somerville Hospital near the Tufts campus, where my journey began.
Over the years, I have remained in touch with the Hill through the Tufts international community. I have returned to campus to present the Oliver Chapman Award, for celebrations of the anniversaries of the International House, Tufts International Center, and the Oliver Chapman Scholarship.
My Tufts friends have not only remained a tight-knit community for nearly 30 years, but the closest ones have become family. When we travel, I seek out my Tufts family. When a group of them are in Boston, we gather at my home, put on Latin music, and dance. Most recently, we have supported each other through the pandemic. I started a WhatsApp group for our Tufts international alumni friends from the years closest to me. Through an incredible network of friends, the chat group quickly grew to over 140 members. We have rediscovered friendships, shared memories, and made new connections.
I am honored to be considered a candidate for the Tufts Alumni Council. If elected, I hope to continue to bring my Tufts community together. Although I crave to give back to Tufts, I know that Tufts will once again enrich the experience in more ways than I can imagine.
- MD, Tufts University School of Medicine, 1997
- BS, Biology, School of Arts & Sciences, Tufts University, 1992
- Radiologist, Cambridge Health Alliance, 2019-Present
- Director of Pediatric Imaging, 2019-Present
- Radiologist, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, 2006-2019
- Section Chief of Pediatric Radiology, 2017-2019
- Associate Physician Liaison of Information Technology and PACS, 2008-2019
- Assistant Clinical Professor of Radiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, 2006-2019
- Co-director of the medical student clerkship in radiology at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, 2007-2019