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Stanford University School of Medicine

A new initiative brings Meharry Medical College students to Stanford

Bow Tie 101: It may not be an official component of medical education, but we know some Stanford professors - including Abraham Verghese, MD, who'd advocate for it. Verghese - who first learned to tie one from his brother George, a professor at MIT, passed down the knowledge to second-year medical student Terrance Embry while he was on campus as part of a newly created Department of Medicine-Meharry Medical College initiative designed to encourage connection between the two institutions.

The idea for a collaboration began after Verghese visited Meharry, a historically black institution in Tennessee, last spring. "I have personal experience on how Stanford can transform lives -- it did mine," he explained in a recent Department of Medicine article.

The program was formalized over subsequent months, and in May, five students traveled over 2,000 miles from Nashville to Palo Alto to train - and contribute to - the Stanford community.

Meharry students were busy both on campus -- researching and working alongside faculty, and off -- exploring their home base of Palo Alto and taking trips to Lake Tahoe and Los Angeles.

Embry spent his two months at Stanford trying on an array of different hats. On any given day, he could be found: In the lab, helping  Manjula Tamura, MD, professor of nephrology, identify aneurysm treatments; in the clinic, reading CT scans and MRIs alongside an interventional radiologist; in the classroom, attending lectures on technology, design, and innovation; or in the office of Verghese, perfecting his bow tie technique.

"That's just the Stanford way," he reflected. "Everyone was so friendly and wanted to provide us with opportunities and to see us succeed. Being able to come here and not only build my CV, but be able to put Meharry's name out there in a positive light and share my perspective with Stanford - that's an opportunity I was grateful to have."

It's also an opportunity that Verghese plans to continue as the program moves into its second year (Stanford readers: mentors are needed for summer 2018). "My hope," he said, "is that by bringing students who are unlikely to visit and experience otherwise, we can transform their lives whether or not they ever subsequently train at Stanford."

Previously: Stanford physician-author Abraham Verghese to receive National Humanities Medal, To boost diversity in academia, "true grit" is needed and Panel on diversity calls for transformative change in society, courageous leadership from individuals
Photos by Jody Joseph

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