Bachelor of Science, Biopsychology, Cognition & Neuroscience, minor in Judaic Studies, 2017
Describe your job responsibilities. What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I am in my last year of medical school at Rush Medical College in Chicago, IL. Being a medical student has granted me the opportunity to work alongside physicians in a wide range of specialties to decide which specific career path I wish to embark on. From assisting obstetricians in delivering newborns to learning from geriatricians the best practices for end-of-life care (and all of life that happens in between!), it has been the biggest privilege to be a source of support for patients at their most vulnerable state. My experience has led me to apply for residency into Internal Medicine with the plan of pursuing a fellowship thereafter.
Tell us about studying at the Frankel Center:
I was born in Kharkov, Ukraine and moved to the United States at eight years old. Though I have assimilated into American culture, studying at the Frankel Center allowed me to challenge my own values through a bimodal lens. An intimate classroom environment coupled with incredibly engaging professors fostered the perfect environment for me to engage in controversial discussions and gain the appreciation that conflicts often do not have a single solution. In particular, I had a growing interest in Eastern Europe’s history of genocide and had the opportunity of working alongside Professor Jeffrey Veidlinger to translate first-hand accounts of pogroms that took place between WWI and WWII. Professor Veidlinger was publishing documentation that bridged these organized massacres with the subsequent extermination during the Holocaust to highlight the continuum, rather than abruptness, that allowed for such crimes. My Judaic Studies degree and experience interpreting sensitive historical events has allowed me to contribute to broader conversations on groupthink, complicity, and hierarchical complacency.
How did your education prepare you for your current job?
My Judaic Studies education was vital in introducing me to the ethical challenges plaguing the medical profession. The standard ethics education that medical schools teach is severely limited given both time constraints and the challenges of unveiling our own inherent biases. Having previously been taught about physicians’ roles during an ethically egregious period in history, I have found great interest in researching multiple perspectives in evaluating complex ethical issues, acknowledging my own susceptibility to falling victim to facilitating injustices, and aiming to be a part of a community of professionals dedicated to confronting modern ethical concerns.
What advice would you give to students who are considering studying Judaic Studies?
I can’t stress enough how valuable my time at the Frankel Center was. Each professor is fervently dedicated to their field and genuinely invested in each student’s learning. My classmates came from a wide range of backgrounds and provided valuable insights into topics that I never thought to question. A degree in Judaic Studies is a multifaceted asset that can be applied to any field a student wishes to pursue.