BWH Clinical & Research News

If you hadn’t gone into your chosen profession, what career would you have pursued?

Members of the BWH community share what they might be doing now if they hadn’t pursued their current career.

“Back in the dark ages of the 1960s when I was a young college radical Students for a Democratic Society member, I wanted to do something meaningful with my life. I was vacillating between being a high school biology teacher and a Rabbi. Medicine seems to encompass some of the important qualities I sought in both and to my surprise, I got into medical school. I don’t regret the choice for a minute, though my admiration for those who chose the other two options is undiminished.”

– Martin P. Solomon, MD, Brigham and Women’s Primary Care of Brookline

 

“If I wasn’t an experimental biologist, I might be doing philosophy (my other major in college). However, I have always loved art, so in another life I might have painted seriously, or maybe I would have had an online craft shop or a fancy cake bakery. To me, the best parts of biology are the aspects that are closest to philosophy or to art; I love thinking about science and imaging specimens, and the mechanics of daily experiments is simply the way to connect them.”

-Jessica Whited, PhD, Brigham Regenerative Medicine Center

 

“When I was a junior at Worcester State University, I worked as a security officer for the emergency department at the university’s affiliated hospital. At that time, I thought I would pursue a career in security or police work, but my exposure to medical personnel and patients led me to select medicine.”

-Imoigele Aisiku, MD, MBA, Department of Emergency Medicine

 

“I initially went to medical school to become an astronaut. I studied aerospace engineering in college and after finishing my Masters program, I went to medical school to obtain another degree in order to apply to the astronaut program. When I got to medical school, I fell in love with surgery, specifically breast reconstruction. At that point I changed course. If I had become an astronaut, I would never have practiced medicine. Astronaut physicians do not actively treat patients, and use their medical knowledge in a more ‘hands off’ way. In the end, taking good care of patients is what motivates me in medicine!”

-Stephanie Caterson, MD, Department of Surgery

 

“When I was in college, I had a fascination with video game development. The ability to create worlds, experiences, and stories for others to enjoy fosters an industry of so much wonder and creativity. But I couldn’t do it while there were still so many to help in the medical world. Being a doctor allows me to offer my patients back something precious: their health. So that they can explore their own adventures in life and come back to tell me their stories. I left one dream behind, and yet I get so much solace and humility from the work that this one provides.”

-Mohammad Dar, MD, Division of Internal Medicine

 

“Ever since I was young I’ve been fascinated by thinking and cognition, but I really had a one-track mind for theater until I was kind of in my late 20s. I left home in Pennsylvania and traveled to New York City when I was 17 to get my taste of the limelight. I worked mostly in musical theatre in New York and all around the country for seven years. I then started to realize that although I loved theater and had an incredible time, I really wanted, and this might sound very trite, to do something more meaningful with my life. I enrolled at Columbia University to study psychology, despite realizing midway through the entrance exam that stage school hadn’t taught me to add fractions. All of my fascination with neuroscience, and with memory in particular came flooding back.”

-Reisa Sperling, MD, Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment