Over the past two years, Brown’s medical alumni have taken advantage of the many ways to connect – from the tried, true, and traditional in-person paths (when they can safely do so) to new technological avenues. And their efforts are making a real difference in the lives of current medical students and aspiring physicians.
“Volunteering for The Warren Alpert Medical School and Brown is a valuable experience for all involved,” says Patricia A. Buss ’78 MD’81 RES’87, president of the Brown Medical Alumni Association (BMAA), who has served on the Board of Directors for eight years. “Medicine, in particular, is a field in which we learn and grow from each other throughout our careers and our lives. I’m proud to be part of a community where we see the value in giving back.”
One of the newest opportunities offered by the BMAA is a mentoring program in which the Office of Biomedical Advancement facilitates a relationship between students and alumni who are matched based on common specialty, residency experience, or geographic location.
“I couldn’t be happier with the pairing from this program,” says student Tsikata Apenyo MD’23 of his connection to Sutchin Patel ’00 MD’04 RES’09, a urologist in the Chicago area and also a member of the BMAA Board of Directors. “Dr. Patel has been extremely responsive whenever I reach out and very open to giving me advice for things even outside of medicine. We have been in touch several times over text and Zoom, and, fortunately, once in person. It’s reassuring to know that I can text him just to check in and that is really helpful to me.”
Patel also served as a host at an in-person networking event in Providence this past fall. In his brief remarks to students, he emphasized the importance of making connections through student-centered events like this and initiatives such as the mentoring program.
“I thought the networking event was a great success. It was a relaxed and fun atmosphere. The students were able to ask a wide range of questions and I know our alumni enjoyed sharing their experiences and advice,” says Patel, who went on to share a memory about being matched as Apenyo’s mentor. “He actually got my alumni note in the pocket of his white coat during his white coat ceremony in 2019. I was there to give the Charles O. Cooke Distinguished Visiting Lecture to the future physicians in his class and we had the chance to meet. So, it was apparently meant to be that we were then matched together two years later for the mentoring program.”