Let’s Make Happiness Go Viral

by Edward S. Kim, ’92 BS, ’96 MD (HPME), Medical Alumni Association (MAAB) president

I’m glad we have made it this far together. It’s been a struggle for the past several years — a pandemic. As I pondered what my final message would be, I could not ignore the events over the past several years. Especially in healthcare, these have been utterly challenging times, as we have all witnessed firsthand the casualties on both sides. Moving forward, let’s focus on the positives.  Let’s start talking about a different type of viral energy — one that we can create happiness and joy for others.  

How can we spread a happiness virus? There are so many ways: from simply smiling, to complimenting a stranger, to posting a positive comment online to counteract the vitriol we so often see. There is also doing the dirty work for someone — like taking out the garbage — or sending someone a good, old-fashioned handwritten note.

Kim with his family, showing the power of a smile.

Another way to spread joy is to volunteer your time or, if you have the means, make a donation to a non-profit organization. The latter truly embodies the Medical Alumni Association (MAA)’s mission to support the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Finally, I leave you with a quote from a great provider of joy — Charles M. Schulz: 

“Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn’t work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos.” 

I have felt humbled and privileged to be able to serve as your president. The MAA is stronger than ever thanks to all of you. 

Always remember to be safe, take care of each other, and give someone a hug today — my favorite way to spread happiness!

Left: The smiles were certainly contagious at this year’s Night on Call, the annual formal, on January 17 downtown at The Drake. 

Center: Second-year medical student Samuel Reyes with MAA Board member and past president James “Jimmy” Hill ’71, ’74 MD, ’79 GME (’12 P) at the Northwestern vs. Miami of Ohio football game on September 24, 2022. 

Right: Saadia S. Sherwani, MD, MS, ’00 GMER, senior vice president of Operations and chief medical officer for Northwestern Memorial Hospital with MAA Board member Kavitha Gandhi ’94, ’98 MD, ’99 GME at the Women Physicians Networking Event held in partnership with Northwestern Medicine at the Museum of Contemporary Art on June 15, 2022.