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Class of 2020 graduate Arnan Ullah dreams of becoming a doctor with a specialty in virology or immunology. His passion for medicine led him to Washington University in St. Louis.
Arnan has been fascinated with healthcare since he was a student at Center Grove Elementary. Over the course of his time in Randolph, he always enjoyed taking STEM courses with particular interests in biology and chemistry. During his junior year at Randolph High School, his passion for medicine expanded after being exposed to new academic research. Through that coursework, he discovered how much we still have to learn about the human body and how it functions. “Every day, new knowledge is coming out that shows us how much we still don’t know about how our bodies work,” Arnan said. “While I was a student at RHS, I learned about a new organ that was just discovered in 2019 that we had previously not known about. The amount of new knowledge being created in the world of medicine is incredible, and I felt like being a part of that innovation could be really exciting.” In pursuit of this calling, Arnan is now studying molecular biology at Washington University in St. Louis with dreams of attending medical school after completing his undergraduate degree.
Washington University in St. Louis, also known as Wash U, is one of the world’s most prestigious universities for higher education. Ranked 19th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, Washington University has developed a strong reputation for research in medicine. The university’s medical school is currently ranked 6th in the nation for research and 31st in the nation in primary care. “Out of all of the schools that I applied to, Washington University in St. Louis offered the best option for medicine by far,” Arnan said. “Their medical program gives undergraduate students tons of opportunity and I will be able to participate in these throughout the course of my freshman year. From research to clinical experience, Wash U allows you to start building your resume immediately along with the ability to network with professors and researchers.”
After graduating from Wash U, Arnan intends to attend medical school where he will study immunology and virology. However, he understands that as he completes his course work, these plans may change. “What I hear a lot from medical school students is that their preference of specialty changes frequently," Arnan said. "They go into medical school with one idea of what they want to study, and then decide to pursue something else after having more experience. This was also another big reason why I wanted to attend Wash U because you can gain experience in any specialty that you want, which will really help me as I decide what I ultimately want to pursue.”
Arnan’s altruistic calling is inspired by his family and his cultural tradition. Growing up, he learned the value of community and the impact that one’s life could have on others. “Southeast Asian culture emphasizes the importance of community regardless of whether they are related to you or not," Arnan said. "I grew up learning that we are a part of a much larger community and subconsciously I learned the importance of wanting to help other people. You talk to a lot of other people who are entering this field, and they will give you the same answer. This is of course what doctors do when they take their pledge. However, I think that mentality to begin with, regardless of whether you’re a doctor or you’re in another career, that life is not always about you is so important. If you have the opportunity, you can help someone else and if we all just did that it would change the world.”
Throughout his journey in Randolph, Arnan learned many valuable lessons. However, he believes learning how to use language meaningfully is incredibly important to success as well as helping others. He credits Speech and Debate for this mentality as it was a program that really helped him grow at RHS. “I went to debate camp my sophomore year of high school. That’s when I learned about and became interested in debate. After that experience, I became very involved in debate and through debating I learned how to use my words to manipulate others," Arnan said. "Some may think that using words to manipulate others is a bad thing. In many situations, it can be. However, the ability to use words to convince others can be used for good. Debating allows you to consider both sides and advocate to fix problems. We can use our words as a way to inform others and try to convince them to make positive changes in the world. That’s a very powerful skill, and something that can be practically applied to any career or discipline.”
Arnan is excited about this next chapter in his life. "For me, the people I surround myself with have a profound impact on my mindset and work ethic," Arnan said. "My recognition of this early on has trained me to place like-minded, hardworking individuals in my orbit through habit, and I am excited to be able to add new faces to my orbit that can further push me to meet my
Congratulations Arnan and good luck at Wash U!