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Cultural history is “as valuable as medical training,” says Stanford physician-scientist

Stanford is home to faculty members with a wide variety of backgrounds, life experiences and professional interests, including Mexico-born microbiologist and pediatrician Manuel Amieva, MD.

He described his journey to Stanford in a recent Stanford News profile:

...It was very challenging leaving my home to attend college in the United States, but I was lucky to be able to explore what I wanted to do. That's one of the reasons that I stayed in the United States. This country lets you pursue things that are luxuries in other places. Along the way, I've learned that the personal and cultural history you bring to the medical profession is just as valuable as your medical training - so don't forget who you are.

Among the "luxuries" he enjoys is the ability to study the relationship between bacteria and human cells. He explains:

We're really like walking planets to the microbes that inhabit us. For me, looking in the microscope is like being in a submarine, exploring landscapes that most people will never get to see. Shrinking through the porthole of a microscope and exclaiming 'Mira!' (Look!) with my students brings me back every day to the sense of wonder that gave me the courage to pursue higher learning.

Previously: On mentorship, and how to pay it forwardThe "improbable journey" of one Stanford grad student and "Just an immigrant kid" who now leads the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Photo by Ed Caldwell

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