Columbia is home to students from diverse backgrounds driven to make a difference in medicine while also pursuing a range of artistic talents—from music to theater to painting—that bring joy to others and nourish empathy on their path to becoming physicians and surgeons. The ballet dancer turned aspiring physician and Space Medicine Club co-president? Check. The student activist who earned a master's degree in film studies before medical school? Check. The former EMT and college double-major in biology and economics who was one of 10 students accepted into the prestigious Columbia-Bassett program? Check. Read on for more about our talented students.
Henry Philofsky, Class of 2020
After a year at P&S, Henry Philofsky said his best adventure so far has been shadowing Marc Dickstein, MD, professor of anesthesiology, during a six-week clerkship at the beginning of the year. These clerkships are integral to the P&S curriculum. “It was my second week in medical school and Dr. Dickstein surprised me when he handed me a bronchoscope while we were in the OR," said Mr. Philofsky, who is the co-president of the Space Medicine Club and spent two years after high school as a professional ballet dancer. “He walked me through inserting the scope into the patient’s throat for a bronchoscopy. I wasn’t expecting to be that involved, but it was cool.” Read more about Mr. Philofsky.
Ashley White-Stern, Class of 2018
“From early on, I had a pretty strong interest in activism and engagement with the world around me,” said Ashley White-Stern, who earned a master's degree in film studies before medical school and is now involved in the P&S Club, including the Black and Latino Student Organization (BALSO) and White Coats for Black Lives. “Joining BALSO afforded me the opportunity to give back to my fellow students and, more broadly, to the entire CUMC community," she said. "But in addition to giving to others, BALSO rewarded me with this incredible community of peers who are committed to helping each other throughout med school and working toward the same goals.” Read more about Ms. White-Stern.
Wilson Sui, Class of 2017
Wilson Sui was accepted into the Columbia-Bassett program and spent his major clinical year in Cooperstown, N.Y., where he saw patients longitudinally throughout his rotations. “It’s cool because you follow patients through, like my first OB patient,” he said. “I saw her throughout her pregnancy, got to see her child born, and eventually saw her child in the pediatric clinic. Since I was interested in urology, I also followed prostate cancer patients from the clinic to their procedure to postop recovery and learned about the breadth of a disease in this way.” Read more about Mr. Sui.