Graduates of BWH Medicine Residency Program Hail From Same High School

Left to right: Aaron Goldberg, MD, PhD; Kunal Patel, MD, PhD; and Nicholas Short, MD.

Left to right: Aaron Goldberg, MD, PhD; Kunal Patel, MD, PhD; and Nicholas Short, MD.

From roots in the nurturing environment and formative training of one high school in San Antonio, Texas, three young men earned the opportunity to apply their knowledge to clinical life at BWH. Aaron Goldberg, MD, PhD; Kunal Patel, MD, PhD; and Nicholas Short, MD, can trace their roots back to Health Careers High School (HCHS) in San Antonio, Texas. Many years later, after college, medical school and graduate school, Goldberg, Patel and Short were matched with BWH to continue their careers in the nationally renowned BWH internal medicine residency program. On June 13, the three completed this phase of their shared professional path as part of the graduating class of BWH resident physicians.

“With only forty categorical residency spots per year, it is extremely uncommon for more than one resident to come from the same high school in a few decades; therefore, having three originate from the same institution in the same class is a tremendous feat,” said Joel Katz, MD, BWH internal medicine program director. “These three young physicians are testament to what must be an exemplary training environment at Health Careers High School, and they represent the best that scientific medicine can offer.”

Competitive Program, State-of-the-Art School

Each year, BWH receives around 3,000 applications from the top medical school graduates in the world to participate in the most competitive internal medicine residency programs in the country; only the top 200, which generally includes class valedictorians and leaders in biomedical research and community engagement, are interviewed. From that elite group, the top 40 are chosen to complete their clinical training at BWH.

Before joining the BWH community, the three physicians attended HCHS, a science-focused public magnet high school. According to Jennifer Jordan, vice principal at HCHS, around 1,000 students apply each year to be considered for a spot in their incoming class; however, only 250 students are accepted. The school strives to give students a sense of the various concentrations of the medical field by providing state-of-the-art simulation rooms, where students can practice skills in emergency and surgical settings among other activities. Students also have the opportunity to do research and be published alongside highly recognized faculty members. Also, students are able to partake in clinical rotations during their last two years of high school.

“We prepare students to be successful in [the] medical field by providing a rigorous academic curriculum,” said Jordan. “I feel that our specialized curriculum and the size of our campus make a world of difference in our success. I am honored that three of our former students were selected out of 3,000 applicants to participate in the prestigious residency at BWH. It validates that we are laying a strong foundation for our students’ future as medical professionals.”

Goldberg, a top graduate of Weill Cornell Medical College, plans to continue his career as a physician-scientist in medical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. As one of the top physician-scientist graduates of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Patel has secured a position as a pulmonary and critical care medicine specialist and laboratory investigator at the University of Pennsylvania. Short, an Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society graduate of Baylor College of Medicine, will return to Texas as an academic medical oncologist and researcher at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.