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AAMC Spotlight: Atul Grover, MD, PhD

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While in college, Dr. Grover, AAMC's executive vice president, spent a summer at a rural hospital in India where he learned a very valuable lesson during his few weeks experiencing clinical work for the first time.

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When I was in college, I had the opportunity to spend a month at a rural hospital in India. While I had spent several summers in a lab at the National Cancer Institute, I had never experienced clinical work, much less the kind of care that the most underserved patients need. In those several weeks, I saw people suffering from the types of illnesses and complications that happen when people don’t have adequate access to care—patients with conditions like tetanus and active tuberculosis. I even had a baby die in my lap as we tried to re-hydrate her after a simple viral gastroenteritis. 

I almost couldn’t stand the pain then and it still hurts now over 20 years later. But it was an important lesson that one person can make a difference—whether that means going door to door in a village or training the next generation of health professionals here or abroad. I have learned that lives can be improved, or even saved, because of that work.

A lot of us begin as volunteers to help ourselves, but then we discover how much we can help others. In medicine, we have the opportunity to carry that effort forward in our day to day work; we just have to remember what brought us to our work in the first place.

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Photos of the rural hospital and communities where Dr. Grover interned. Photos by: Atul Grover.

In his role as executive vice president, Atul Grover, MD, PhD, provides strategic leadership in the areas of medical education, academic affairs, health care affairs, scientific affairs, learning and leadership programming, diversity and inclusion, public policy, and communications.

Dr. Grover received his MD from George Washington University (GWU) School of Medicine and his PhD in health and public policy from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Grover holds faculty appointments at GWU School of Medicine and JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

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