As part of the dual MD/MBA program with the Marshall School of Business, Anna conducted consulting projects in quality improvement initiatives for several healthcare institutions, including the Keck Hospital of USC, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA), and Kaiser Permanente. She has also been actively engaged in helping the children of Armenia through the Armenian EyeCare Project, organizing and facilitating multiple medical mission trips to prevent and treat childhood blindness.
Other causes that she has volunteered for include the non-profit organization Datev Outreach, providing supportive services to families affected by domestic violence. In addition, she has worked in high impact labs both at USC Dornsife as well as CHLA studying histone regulated DNA replication and molecular profiling of retinoblastoma tumor cells.
Anna points to the mission statement etched on the entrance of Old County Hospital calling providers “to give their services without charge in order that no citizen of the county shall be deprived of health or life for lack of such care and services” as her guide. First engraved in the 1920s, the spirit of this mission endures at the Keck School of Medicine, providing a sense of commitment to service that permeates the institutional culture. Anna hopes the measure of her accomplishments will reflect how truly she was able to honor this bond and provide compassionate care for all – regardless of origin or ability.
The most meaningful moments in Anna’s time here at the Keck School all involve her engagement with the Keck community. From navigating between anatomy labs and lectures with classmates, to learning pearls of medicine first-hand from her physician heroes, such as Dr. Jonathan LoPresti, to meeting patients entrusting her and her colleagues with the supreme honor of guarding their health. These intimate connections helped her discover new dimensions about herself and feel more human and present. Anna looks back with humility, gratitude and joy knowing that the Keck community has helped to develop in her a spirit of resilience and a deepened sense of purpose. (taken from HSC News, Dean’s Recognition Spotlight)
Piers Frieden is currently continuing his education as a first-year medical student at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. As a 2015 clinical track Global Medicine student, Piers tailored his schedule to hone in on his interest in Infectious Diseases, taking courses such as MEDS 514: Tropical Diseases, MEDS 511: Global Health Modules, Tuberculosis, MEDS 521: Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, and MEDS 515: Global Health Modules, HIV/AIDS.
Beyond the classroom, Piers incorporated his knowledge within the hospital by participating in clinical research within the Infection Control department at the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. Through his analysis of the prevalence of Extended Spectrum Beta-lactamase organisms on duodenoscopes within the hospital, Piers was able to gain exposure to the wide array of conditions that affect patients within the hospital, and he was able to present his work to the Infection Control Committee at the hospital. Piers has continued his duodenoscope research as a medical student, and plans on becoming involved in more Infection Control projects in the future. As a student interested in working with infectious diseases, Piers says that his extensive coursework within the Global Medicine program and his clinical research experience have prepared him to be a medical student with a strong foundation in the medical sciences and in the field of Infectious Diseases.
Sami Chau’s passion for helping the impoverished was apparent throughout her time as a Global Medicine clinical track student. Sami took courses that taught her to have a cultural understanding of individuals, such as MEDS 516: Cultural Competence in Health and Medicine and MEDS 525: Global Mental Health. She went on to apply the knowledge she gained from these classes to a real-time setting: Sami worked closely with the homeless population in downtown Los Angeles at the Downtown Women’s Center, a shelter that provides food, housing, and educational classes to women in need. After graduating from the program in 2013, Sami joined the Global Medicine staff as the Program Assistant. Her work focused primarily on helping progressive degree students like herself, ensuring a smooth transition between their undergraduate and graduate courses. In August 2015, she chose to pursue her medical education at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. As a medical student, Sami again demonstrated her passion for helping the underserved when she applied for and received the Dhablania and Kim Fellowship. This research grant was awarded to students who seek to address global health issues internationally. Sami’s project brought her to the archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama, where, through a partnership with the non-profit organization Floating Doctors, she conducted a health assessment of maternal and child health of the indigenous Ngobe population. Working with this community, which seldom receives healthcare due to lack of access, Sami was able to further her cross-cultural understanding and hone in on the skills she learned through the Global Medicine program. In addition to her service work, Sami became involved in the Keck Medical Student Curriculum board, where she actively provided input to improve the medical education curriculum for future medical students. She continues to do so as a second year medical student while she prepares to take her Step 1 portion of the United States Medical Licensing Exam at the end of the school year.
Nassim Lashkari is a woman of many pursuits. Beginning as a double major in biology and anthropology, Nassim continued her educational pursuits by attending the USC School of Pharmacy, while concurrently pursuing her Master’s degree within the Global Medicine Program. After receiving both her Doctor of Pharmacy and Masters of Science in Global Medicine degrees, Dr. Lashkari became a faculty member for the Global Medicine program. She taught MEDS 500: Basic Concepts in Global Health, MEDS 532: Non-communicable diseases, MEDS 599: Special Topics, Journal Review, and MEDS 554: Clinical Medicine & Healthcare Delivery in Panama. At these clinics in the remote communities of Panama, Dr. Lashkari contributed her invaluable knowledge as both a pharmacist and Global Medicine alum to provide culturally competent care and revamp the entire pharmacy for Floating Doctors. Although she was accustomed to prescribing medications in the U.S., Dr. Lashkari learned to work with patients in resource-limited settings while also acting as the sole pharmacist for the entire clinic.
After working as a pharmacist and Global Medicine faculty member for two years, Dr. Lashkari’s career aspirations shifted towards a different field of healthcare. In August 2016, she matriculated into the Keck School of Medicine as a medical student. Beyond her hard work, dedication, and extensive professional experience, both in academics and in healthcare, Dr. Lashkari has proven to be a bright and vastly knowledgeable medical student. From her undergraduate career through her pharmacy and master’s education and until the end of her medical training, Dr. Lashkari is sure to be successful and use her multi-disciplinary knowledge to excel throughout her career.
Dr. Kusha Davar
Dr. Victoria Gershuni
Dr. Lia Jacobson
Dr. Gagan Khar
Dr. Navid Pour-Ghasemi
Dr. Anna Ter-Zekarian