Passing the Torch

A letter from Rishi Reddy, ’00 MD (HPME)

Hello, Feinberg alumni!

I hope you all are staying safe as COVID-19 surges throughout the country and the world. I am hoping that, by the time you read this, we are coming out of our social-distancing measures due to a successful vaccine program.

During the past year, I have come to really appreciate the bonding our alumni have had — through alumni events, alumni board meetings, and more. While the virtual meetings and programming have been great, I am excited for the opportunity for us to be able travel again (hopefully to Chicago!) to celebrate Feinberg and Northwestern.

I wanted to highlight the efforts being made by different alumni to continue engagement with students and other alumni over the past year. Despite limitations on travel, your fellow alumni members have continued to find ways to serve and interact. The current cohort of medical students at Feinberg will be one of the most unique groups in the history of our medical school, as they have adjusted to the training challenges presented by COVID-19. This cohort will need the mentorship from our alumni base even more than other classes as they, too, have been limited in their interpersonal interactions.

The Alumni Board’s Women in Medicine subcommittee (led by Nupur Ghoshal, ’01 PhD, ’03 MD, and Kavitha Gandhi, ’94, ’98 MD, ’99 GME) have continued to hold events that have allowed current medical students the opportunity to network with a variety of alumni from across the country. The Women in Medicine Facebook group is growing, with almost 300 members to date. Our Mentoring Committee, led by Emily Jones, ’08 MD, ’11 GME, launched a new Virtual Heart-to-Hearts program that has generated over 200 virtual gatherings between our MD students and caring alumni volunteers all over the country. The Alumni Physicians of Feinberg events have also continued, but have shifted to a virtual format, allowing students to meet and network with Feinberg faculty.

Kavitha Gandhi, ’94, ’98 MD, ’99 GME, has moderated four mentoring events for Chicagoland high schools as part of the medical school’s new Women in STEM (WiSTEM) programming series. The most recent event, held virtually this past December, was attended by 22 students from George Westinghouse College Preparatory High School on the city’s west side.

As our board continues to evolve, we have tried to create new sub-committees that reflect the goals of Northwestern and Feinberg. We are launching a Diversity in Medicine subcommittee, which we hope will help facilitate diversity efforts among alumni, the medical school, and the hospital in the future.

Despite many of us staying home, our alumni association has continued to be active and to help our current students. We hope that you will continue to engage with Feinberg and Northwestern and ask that you please contact us (via Dan Schwarzlose, daniel.schwarzlose@northwestern.edu) if you are able to mentor students, host a virtual dinner, or participate in another way.

Finally, this is my last letter as MAAB President. I am passing the torch to Edward Kim, ’96 MD, who will take over in April 2021. Dr. Ghoshal will become the president-elect. They will be great leaders over the next few years — I am excited for our Alumni Board and Association.

I cannot wait to live in a post-COVID world and hope that we will be able to come back to Chicago in 2022 and beyond for Alumni Weekend. Go CATS!

For ideas on how to stay in touch and connect with current Feinberg students, go to feinberg.northwestern.edu/alumni.