to CSTEP In the News
Medical student knows
‘the importance of listening to patients’
Posted on SUNY Upstate Medical website
May 3, 2012 by James McKeever
Upstate medical student Ariba Jahan’s determination
and her love of research have paid big dividends for her.
But an even bigger payoff for others — her future patients
— is on the horizon.
Ariba earned scholarships and fellowships that have allowed
her to conduct research and travel – to Las Vegas to
present her findings at the Academic Surgical Congress conference
in February, and to Atlanta at the Student National Medical
Association annual conference last month. (Ariba Jahan
with her research poster - pictured on the left)
Ariba’s research has clinical implications for cancer
patients. Her presentation was based on the work she did last
summer as an American Association for Thoracic Surgery scholar
at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Attending conferences reinforced for Ariba the crucial link
between basic science benchwork and the clinical bedside.
“I am now further motivated and inspired,” she
Those two words suit her well.
Ariba came to the United States from her native Bangladesh
as a third-grader in 1994. Her family settled in New York
City, where her real journey began.
“I never thought that within my first six months of
being in America, I would find out I’m half deaf,”
Ariba said. “Once the diagnosis (inner cochlear impairment)
was written on paper, I became ‘the seven-year-old girl
with hearing aids, disabled and just different.’ ”
That diagnosis shaped Ariba’s future in many ways.
“I saw it as a driver, not a hindrance. I was never
limited by my condition. I was limited by other people’s
view of it.”
Ariba applied (without telling her family) to Brooklyn Technical
High School, was accepted and majored in biomedical sciences.
She became a Remembrance Scholar at Syracuse University, earned
a degree in biomedical engineering and enrolled at Upstate.
Her career plan is to become a surgeon.
Ariba Jahan was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research
Fellowship at Upstate in 2006 and did cancer research. Ariba
was a CSTEP (Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program)
scholar at Syracuse University.
“I want to be the type of doctor who gives hope and
inspires my patients to not be ‘disabled’ by their
conditions but to embrace their lives,” Ariba said.
“I can use my experience to remind myself of the importance
of listening to patients and making sure they understand what’s
going on with their body, regardless of age, education or
Ariba said her many mentors have played a crucial role in
her development as a person, a student, a researcher and as
a future physican.
“You can’t get by without mentors, and it’s
very critical to share whatever you’ve acquired,”
she said, noting that she’s a mentor to two Syracuse
University students. “You need people who genuinely
care about your grades and your personal growth.”
As a physician, Ariba wants to set up a mentoring program
in whatever large U.S. city she settles in. The program will
involve high school students, their families, and medical
and engineering professionals in the community. The idea is
to motivate and guide high school students toward productive
“You need to get to them early,” Ariba said.
“I didn’t struggle because I couldn’t hear,
but because nobody heard me.”
Source: SUNY Upstate Medical: Click
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