Children are clean slates as far as their future career is concerned at the preschool age. As they grow, they interact with adults in the society where they get role models to emulate. Different occurrences are also vital in modeling future of human beings. There have been several events and people throughout my life that have inspired me and kept me motivated to pursue my dream of becoming a surgeon. I was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, until I was 12 years old. Now I am 19. When I lived there, I spent a lot of time with my grandfather (from mother’s side of the family) who was paralyzed from his hips downwards at the age of 30. He had been using a wheelchair for 45 years and had not come out of his house for all those years because of stairs. My mother told me it is a genetic problem in our family that passes on through the mother’s family and only affects the males. This means that, if I get a son in future, this can happen to him too. Fortunately, it is now possible to fix the problem with the development of spine surgery technology. My grandfather never got the surgery though. He inspired me to learn more about genes, DNA, and to get into the medical field. I desire to help paralyzed people who come from humble backgrounds to come out of this horrifying condition.

All my cousins from mother’s side of the family are in the medical field. However, they all live in Iran. Two years ago, when I visited Iran, my older cousin snuck me into her medical school and took me to the section where they were studying the human body on a fresh cadaver. I was so excited to see the inside of a human body! I saw the inside of his head, chest, stomach, arms, and legs. I had dissected and studied a cat’s body in Anatomy class in High School in the USA. Surprisingly, the human body was totally different! It was super fascinating, detailed, and more complicated. Since my childhood, I desired to be in the medical field. At that age, I was sure I wanted to become a surgeon to work on the human body.

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Another person who inspired me was Mohammad-Reza Nassizadeh, my father’s uncle. He was an American-Iranian trained chest and heart surgeon. He played an important role in the development of thoracic surgery in Iran. He opened the first thoracic surgery department in Iran in the mid-1970’s when chest surgery had begun just a couple of years ago. He was known to be humble among people doing surgeries for free to kids and people who could not afford surgeries but needed them. He was also well-known by other doctors. They looked up at him as he was very intelligent and experienced. Additionally, when I visit Iran and interact with doctors, they ask me if I am related to him because of my last name. I proudly say “yes”. I want to be like him one day. I want to become a surgeon and go around the world helping people who are in need of the most. This is the driving force that reinforces my spirit of becoming a surgeon.


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