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Meet The Paul S. Lietman Johns Hopkins Medicine International Scholars for 2015

a group photo of the lietman scholars

Thirteen international medical students are continuing their quest to become doctors thanks to the Paul S. Lietman Johns Hopkins Medicine International Scholarship, which supports international students pursuing medical degrees at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI) created the need-based scholarship in 2012.

The scholarship was named in honor of the late Paul S. Lietman, M.D., Ph.D., who led Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Division of Clinical Pharmacology for almost 30 years. He also served as director of research and education at Johns Hopkins Singapore upon its opening in 1998. Subsequently, he led academic relations for JHI, establishing relationships with schools and hospitals in Lebanon, China, and Trinidad and Tobago. He died in 2013 at the age of 79.

JHI’s leaders consider the scholarship a truly special opportunity to give back—to further the promise of medicine and expand the mission and knowledge of Johns Hopkins Medicine globally.

“We applaud these passionate, driven scholars for their dedication to the healing arts,” says Pamela Paulk, president of Johns Hopkins Medicine International. “At JHI, our mission is to improve the health of the community and the world. We consider it a privilege to share this transformative experience with the best and the brightest who have come from around the world to study at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.”

chengcheng gui

Award Recipients

Chengcheng Gui (Class of 2019)

Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Why did you select the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine?
I chose Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine because of the school's reputation for strong medical research, the advice of a mentor who is an alumnus of Johns Hopkins, the generous financial assistance, and the fact that I really felt valued during early interactions with the people [here].

Why did you choose to study medicine?
I wanted to pursue a career that provides interesting intellectual challenges on a daily basis, while allowing me to form personal relationships with the people who might benefit from my work.

What’s next?
I'm only starting to explore and think about my potential role in medicine.


Howard Choi

Sophie Lin (Class of 2019)

Hometown: Singapore

Why did you select the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine?
I became really excited about clinical medicine during my graduate studies in the pathobiology program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The collaborative and nurturing environment experienced at Johns Hopkins was an aspect that I valued and wanted for my medical education.

Why did you choose to study medicine?
Following graduate school, I worked as a research assistant at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and later as a clinical trials coordinator at the University of California San Francisco. I enjoyed interacting with patients/trial participants and their families. I was very inspired by their resilience and became very motivated to do more for them. 

What’s next?
I hope to share with others in the Baltimore community, and with resource-limited communities, some of the kindness, energy, knowledge and skills that Johns Hopkins has given me throughout the years.


afshin ameri

Afshin Ameri (Class of 2018)

Hometown: Natanz, Iran. I went to high school and university in Toronto, Canada.

Why did you select the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine?
Johns Hopkins brings together the best of the best in every field in medicine, and it has always been a dream to be part of this historical institution.

Why did you choose to study medicine?
It was the only profession I could think of that would make me excited to wake up every day. 

What’s next?
At this point I am leaning toward cardiology, where my engineering background can be helpful. No matter what specialty I go into, I will want to someday get back to the two amazing countries that gave me so much. 


kellen knowles

Kellen Knowles (Class of 2018)

Hometown: Nassau, Bahamas

Why did you select the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine?
Its reputation for research and clinical excellence. Equally important is Johns Hopkins’ strong international presence and reputation. 

Why did you choose to study medicine?
To keep it simple, I love people and health care affects everyone. I also like to solve problems creatively, and both the clinical practice of medicine and the administrative delivery of medicine present problems that need solving. 

What’s next?
I see myself helping to run a hospital and/or medical school somewhere either in Europe or the Middle East in a place where there are critical health care needs. 


amar deshwar

Amar Deshwar (Class of 2019)

Hometown: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Why did you select the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine?
What really set Johns Hopkins apart for me was being able to learn the art of medicine in a city currently dealing with some important social challenges. Helping to serve those who would typically not have access to proper health care has always been a motivator for me. 

Why did you choose to study medicine?
I am someone who is happiest being able to work on a variety of different projects. With a medical degree, there are so many different routes I can take to make a positive impact in society. 

What’s next?
In the past, I have most enjoyed my experiences in working with youth on social justice projects and would love to be able to incorporate that somehow in my work as a physician. 


dane moran

Dane Moran (Class of 2017)

Hometown: Coffs Harbour, Australia

Why did you select the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine?
I chose Johns Hopkins because of the opportunities available to develop myself as a person outside of the standard curriculum. 

Why did you choose to study medicine?
As a physician, I get to interact with patients, get to know them on a personal level, and find out what is important to them and how their medical conditions influence their life, which helps to look for better solutions to these problems..

What’s next?
I might return home to Australia to complete a neurosurgical residency.


marc shi

Marc Shi (Class of 2019)

Hometown: Toronto, Canada

Why did you select the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine?
I chose Johns Hopkins because I was excited to have a medical education that was attentive to population and community-level health. 

Why did you choose to study medicine?
I believe that as a physician I will be able to help bring attention to the stories of patients and communities that are institutionally and systematically marginalized, and directly address the health needs that perpetuate social inequity.

What’s next?
I hope to have a career in primary care, potentially in family medicine.


alan utria

Alan Utria (Class of 2016)

Hometown: Harare, Zimbabwe

Why did you select the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine?
I valued the opportunity to attend medical school at a hospital that attracts an extremely diverse patient population from Baltimore, the United States and the world. 

Why did you choose to study medicine?
I chose to study medicine because it is a profession that melds both science and art, while allowing me to interact with and help a diverse group of people on a daily basis. It is built on a strong backbone of scientific evidence and research, but still allows for critical thought, creativity and new solutions.

What’s next?
I am currently applying to general surgery residencies with the hope of pursuing pediatric and/or global surgery. I am aiming for an academic career that would allow me to practice and research in a variety of settings both inside and outside the U.S.


eric xu

Eric Xu (Class of 2019)

Hometown: Vancouver, Canada

Why did you select the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine?
I’ve always been deeply interested in understanding how things work. In college, I majored in biochemistry and minored in creative writing. Throughout my studies, I learned how molecular interactions form the basis of life and how language—inherent to the human condition—enriches it. For me, the decision to study medicine was obvious; I wanted to be in a profession where I could use my background in science and poetry to address both the illness and the person behind it.

Why did you choose to study medicine?
I wanted to be in a profession where I could use my background in science and poetry to address both the illness and the person behind it. 

What’s next?
I’m hoping to match into neurosurgery and eventually work in a teaching hospital.


erina lie

Erina Lie (Class of 2017)

Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia

Why did you select the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine?
It has an excellent training program and international presence, while being financially feasible for an international student. 

Why did you choose to study medicine?
I desire to dedicate my life to the pursuit of excellence and a lifetime of learning and helping others in a meaningful and tangible way.I plan to practice medicine in a way that incorporates my interest in optimizing health care delivery, developing sustainable health systems and bridging the gap between resource-poor and resource-rich regions.

What’s next?
I plan to practice medicine in a way that incorporates my interest in optimizing health care delivery, developing sustainable health systems and bridging the gap between resource-poor and resource-rich regions.


susan stanley

Quynh Nguyen (Class of 2019)

Hometown: Hanoi, Vietnam

Why did you select the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine?
I was impressed by Johns Hopkins’ renowned reputation for being one of the best hospitals and biomedical research facilities, and the [faculty’s] dedication to medical education left me with a deep impression during my medical school application journey. 

Why did you choose to study medicine?
I grew up in a complex neighborhood in Hanoi, Vietnam, where my parents both practice medicine at the small clinic they made out of our living room. Growing up watching my parents dedicate their career to help people regardless of their life circumstances inspired me to also be able to make an impact on others’ lives when I grew up.

What’s next?
I am currently interested in oncology and infectious diseases, but I am also keeping an open mind to explore other areas. I am interested in a career in academic medicine because of the wide variety of things I can do in academia. I also have a strong interest in global health and hope to one day contribute to the health care system in Vietnam and other developing countries.


karun arora

Karun Arora (Class of 2017)

Hometown: Chandigarh, India, but grew up in Budapest, Hungary

Why did you select the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine?
A major factor was my realization that regardless of [the] specialty I ended up choosing, Johns Hopkins would provide me the best possible resources, training, and connections necessary to hopefully become a future leader in that field. 

Why did you choose to study medicine?
I did not always want to study medicine. I came to Johns Hopkins for undergraduate studies considering a career in biotechnology research. By sophomore year, however, I knew that engaging in research alone would not satisfy me. After completing my undergraduate studies, I started working as a clinical researcher at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Hopkins. Here, with the incredible support and guidance of my mentor, Dr. David Friedman, I was able to successfully combine my interests in research and patient care in a way that was deeply satisfying for me. 

What’s next?
While I am still considering other medical specialties, so far my experience in ophthalmology has been fantastic. Through my continued work at the Wilmer Eye Institute, I have also been exposed to the potential impact of international development work and research in ophthalmology. Based on my experiences, I am looking forward to a career where I am able to restore vision for patients while engaging in research and international work to improve vision outcomes for a larger number of people.

 

 

*Lyonell Kone and Jiawei Zhao were not available for interviews.