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Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine Student Awarded $15,000 Founders' Scholarship

June 10, 2024

Congratulations Tushank

We are only as good as the company we keep. My name is Tushank Chadha, I am currently a third-year medical student at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, and I am fortunate to have grown up in the company of great people. Family, friends, local communities - all of these contributed to my ambition in life, that is, to help provide care for as many people as possible and have fun doing it.

If you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said - a hero. I was interested in medicine, but I would much rather have been one in the Spider-Man sense. But I had no powers. So, if I could not be Spider-Man and I had an interest in medicine - it only made sense to start with Emergency Medicine. Since that internal deliberation, my experiences have continued to lead my professional interests to be rooted in EM with an emphasis on osteopathic manipulative medicine in the emergent setting.

The emphasis of community in my life and desired specialty has led me to many rewarding opportunities. One being the Tucson Representative for my cohort from BCOM. It has allowed me to not only represent our cohort with the TOMF and BCOM, but also stand as someone, who my fellow students trusted as we faced obstacles while maneuvering through our first year of clinical rotations and it gives me hope for my dream of being the best physician I can be.Where do you consider home to be?
Orange County, California

What do you love about the Southwest/Tucson?
The people! You never feel like a stranger. Whether it's the golf course, the restaurants on Oracle, or the watering holes downtown - everyone is only too willing to help or give advice on what to know, what to try, and where to explore next.

What is your favorite thing to do in your (very limited!) free time?
Playing with my dog Hooper, Harry Potter, and all things basketball!

How did you discover you wanted a career in medicine?
It started as a horror story. I was six years old, and my doctor was telling me I needed glasses. I was feeling very vulnerable, he clearly did not realize my hard-earned playground reputation was on the line, but I still remember how he reassured me. And even though our interaction was fleeting, I was moved and have wanted to be that person of support for others since.

Who has been the most influential person throughout your journey as a medical student?
We are only as good as the company we keep, and I have been extremely fortunate to have my family and friends that have always been a source of support, encouragement, and inspiration that continue to influence not just my journey in medicine, but in life as well.

Which specialty do you plan to practice?
Emergency Medicine

What advice would you give to someone considering medicine as a career?
Medicine is a profession that was and still is strewn with competition, which breeds elitism and seemingly creates a notion that medicine needs to singularly prioritize more intellectually gifted people. And if I could give advice to those considering medicine, it would be to prioritize knowing what is right and wrong in carrying yourself as a contributing member of society - including your peers - rather than formalizing what is right or wrong on an exam.

What is the most interesting thing you've discovered so far in your training?
Even within similar specialties, there is no one size fits all or singular path to being a capable and trustworthy physician.

What excites you about becoming a physician?
In our clinical years, we learn both the standardized methods as well as various preferential processes from our teaching faculty across a variety of specialties - whether its directly from our preceptors or any practitioner offering advice during our rotations. As fully fledged physicians, it is exciting that we will be able to cherry pick from everything we have learned to that point and serve with our own unique amalgamation of partialities that will represent all who helped us prior.

What led you to pursue osteopathic medicine as opposed to allopathic medicine?
When we talk about the tenets of osteopathic medicine, we are encouraging things like: holistic medicine and preventative medicine - aspects that are not meant to be a replacement or lesser form of medicine, but a complement to existing allopathic medicine. Adding that focus on the patient is why osteopathic medicine feels more comprehensive and being a future DO resonates with me.

What do you think the future of medicine looks like?
Incredibly promising. Not only due to technological advancements, but I think as the medical field continues to mature - we are all placing a greater emphasis on comradery that I truly believe will lead to better outcomes for patients and improved conditions for future providers and students alike.

How has COVID-19 impacted your training?
The pandemic presented obstacles in various ways to different people, but the shock both during and after was impartial. As medical students, remote learning created an environment that was overtly limiting to our interpersonal interactions during the start of medical school. But I think it created a context, that led even our introverted counterparts to look for innovative ways to collaborate and bond that led to many positive and meaningful relationships, which was, is, and will continue to be key for our continued journey in medicine.

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