ALUMNI PROFILE: A HISTORIAN IN MEDICAL SCHOOL
This fall, history alumnus (minor, ‘14) Tom Yusin will enter the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he plans to pursue a career in pediatric oncology. Yusin’s interest in medicine began as a child. Yusin represents his family’s third generation of physicians, but he also comes from a family of history students and practitioners. Tom’s grandfather, Alvin S. Yusin, M.D., published several works of historical fiction.
This background led Tom to view history as a natural compliment to his biology major and as particularly helpful to pre-med students who, in addition to technical knowledge, must demonstrate critical thinking and precise communication. “Medicine is a collaborative field,” Tom explains. “It is a necessity to be able to communicate with others from different specializations. Discussion based history classes really helped me hone my skills for working in collaborative and challengingenvironments.”
Tom also credits his history minor for helping him stand out among the medical school applicant pool and also during campus interviews. His advice to students considering medical school: stay active with relevant extracurricular activities that practice humanistic skills. Such activities include volunteering at a hospital or doctor’s office, where one can interact with patients and their families, and volunteering with underserved populations. “A history major or minor isn’t just something that is written on a degree,” he notes, “It indicates that you think differently than most science majors.”