Ph.D. in Anatomy & Cell Biology
Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
Before coming to IUPUI, I was a physician who had 3 years of experience in teaching anatomy at the medical school level. I wanted to continue what I was doing, which was teaching rather than practicing clinical medicine. Soon, however, I realized that I needed a PhD in addition to my MD degree in order to secure a basic science faculty position for myself in the future. The Education Track PhD in Anatomy offered at the IU School of Medicine sounded like a perfect match for my specific interests. This program offers a minor in Education which is something I have always been interested in. In addition to active exposure to various pedagogical methods, the program provides students with vigorous training in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies in the field of Medical Education. There are only 2-3 similar programs offered across the United States that pair anatomy with education research instead of laboratory bench research. Since I was already living in Indiana with my family, it was super lucky for me that I didn’t have to move out of state to pursue my graduate degree.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
My favorite academic accomplishment has been my engagement with the American Association of Anatomists (AAA) as a member. I had the opportunity of presenting my research as first author in AAA’s annual meetings at Experimental Biology (EB) Conference in San Diego, 2018, and Orlando, 2019, at the Anatomy Education Platforms. Both presentations were well-received by the audience which consisted of anatomists across the US as well as international scholars, post-docs and students. These two experiences helped in boosting my confidence as a novice researcher. In 2019, I also received a travel fellowship award from IUPUI to help fund my travel expenses to attend the EB meeting.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
I live in Greenwood which is a 30 minutes’ drive from downtown Indianapolis. Commuting to IUPUI campus daily, I enjoy having access to various facilities and attractions that come as advantages of living in a big city. My favorite place in downtown is Hilbert Circle Theatre which is home to the Indianapolis symphony orchestra. I love going to a live musical performance with my family on an ideal weekend. What I especially like about the IUPUI campus itself is its multicultural environment. I am happy to see a good level of acceptance, rather than mere tolerance, for different types of people and their cultures.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
Since I became a PhD student in Indianapolis, I have been teaching anatomy at various other institutions including Indiana State University, Chamberlain University, and Ivy Tech Community College as an adjunct faculty member in addition to various courses at IU School of Medicine. These appointments have helped me gain immensely valuable experience in teaching all anatomical sub-disciplines at the professional, graduate, and undergraduate levels. In the meantime, I have had the opportunity of writing several research and perspective papers as first author as well as collaborating with a team of renown researchers on one project. Currently, I am working on my dissertation research which uses Michel Foucault’s archaeological methodology for analyzing the modern discourse of medicine. My research committee chair, Dr. Jim Scheurich, has been a tremendous help in guiding me through this work. I am very excited about this project and am hoping to be able to publish it as a book after defending my dissertation.