Name: Meena Davuluri
Class Year: 2015
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Undergraduate Institution:University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Degree:Business Finance and Pre-Med
Hobbies: Tennis, cheering on Michigan Football, spending time with family & friends
Favorite Movie: Wedding Crashers and Aladdin

What influenced your decision to pursue a career in Medicine?
I have always been drawn to the field of medicine. I have a lot of family members within the healthcare field which has provided me with a significant amount of exposure to medicine throughout the years. However, I don’t think I really knew if I wanted to pursue medicine until I was older and in college. As I started to explore other career fields, I realized how dynamic the field of medicine actually is compared to other industries. As I started to shadow physicians, I became aware of the profound impact that a good physician was able to make within a community. I was hooked. I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life improving my local community and decided that medicine was the avenue for me to best achieve that goal.

What has been your most gratifying moment in medical school so far?
I would have to say my most gratifying moment has been volunteering at the local Refugee Clinic. Syracuse has the highest refugee population in the nation and Upstate sponsors a clinic to provide primary healthcare screenings for our local migrant population. During one of my volunteer shifts, I was working with a resident and we were speaking with a patient who seemed incredibly upset. After speaking with her for a few moments, she told us that her daughter, husband, and son-in-law had been re-directed to another country and she had came to the U.S. alone. They were all supposed to arrive together. She had not spoken with her family since arriving to the U.S. and did not know how to get in touch with them. We took some time to speak with her and comfort her given her recent distress. This experience was very humbling to me. It reminded me that as a future physician, there are certain problems I will not be able to solve. However, it made me realize that I first and foremost need to listen to my patient, because if I do not, I may not be able to help at all.

What faculty or staff member has most positively affected your experience at Upstate Medical University thus far? Why?
All of the faculty and staff at Upstate are truly wonderful. Each and every person that I have encountered has offered his or her full support and guidance whenever needed. However, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge Betty Stroman. Betty works on the 9th floor cafe in Weiskotten Hall. She is one of the nicest people and thoroughly loves interacting with all the students. She is always able to put a smile on my face, even during the middle of exam week. Now that deserves a shoutout!

What has been your most challenging aspect of medical school thus far?
The hardest thing about medical school is balancing your academic life with extracurricular activities and social activities. The sheer volume of information each student must learn within the first two years is overwhelming. Therefore, time management becomes an increasingly important to skill to develop throughout medical school. However, I hear it gets better after 2nd year – I guess I will find out if those rumors are true!

If you could pass along any advice to an incoming Upstate Medical University medical student, what would it be?
Get to know your classmates. You will be spending the next 4 years with these individuals. All of you will go through the exact same thing together and can be each other’s best source of support.

What experience in medical school has surprised you the most?
The people. Upstate has been an incredibly welcoming place. The faculty have all gone above and beyond to help their students succeed (sometimes even coming in at 6am to review material). Additionally, my classmates have been absolutely wonderful. I may be biased, but the class of 2015 is a very close-knit class. We all help each other out with material and genuinely want to see each other succeed. This has made my experience as a medical student of the best that I have ever had. If it was not for my classmates, I do not know how I would survive medical school!

What are your aspirations following medical school?
I am still not sure what specialty I would like to pursue, but I have started narrowing the list. However, I do know that in addition to clinical practice I would like to work with healthcare policy. During my undergraduate career, I knew that I wanted to find a way to intersect my interest in business and medicine. After my undergraduate career, I pursued my MPH at Dartmouth College. During my MPH, I realized that focusing on the science of healthcare delivery would allow me to combine these two passions. Therefore, despite which specialty I choose, I know that I will dip my toes into various aspects of the healthcare industry.

What do you do in your spare time?
When I do have spare time and can get away from the library, I enjoy going to my parents’ house to play with my dog Hanuman. He is just the cutest. Also, if my schedule allows it, I love to travel around the country to visit my family and friends!