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Dublin High School Alum Neil Bedi Pursues Accelerated Medical Program at Boston University

August 28, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–One of the pleasures of contributing to OneDublin.org is the opportunity to meet highly motivated young people and inspiring teachers. While nothing can replace the enthusiasm of students that have the whole world ahead of them, every so often you meet one that may someday change the world. We’ve encountered very few like 2018 Dublin High School graduate, Neil Bedi. He followed a full track of academics through, Green Elementary, Fallon Middle School and ultimately, DHS. Through a chance discussion while he was putting in volunteer hours at the Dublin Partners in Education office, we sat down to discuss his long-term goals. It was a revelation. His focus and maturity were evident. But the truly enlightening portion of the conversation was to understand his outlook on life – outside of his own.

Neil Bedi

Mr. Bedi departed this weekend for his next adventure. He will enroll in an accelerated seven-year medical education program (SMED) at Boston University. In this circumstance, he will complete two years of undergraduate work, slide into a modular program in year three and then transition into four years of medical school. As one would imagine, this unique program that is layered with so much rigor is open to only a small subset of students from across the country. However, Neil seems to have embraced this challenge and feels confident that he can place his own stamp on the experience. We sat down and continued our conversation.

OneDublin.org: First off, tell us about your experience promoting up through Dublin High School. Please share some of the highlights.

Neil Bedi: “Overall, reflecting back upon my experience at Dublin High School, I would say it was very positive.”

“One of the greatest highlights of my experience was the Biomedical Academy. As a proud, self-proclaimed science nerd, I particularly enjoyed my time in my science classes. I became very close with many of the science teachers and can honestly say that I consider them family. Particularly, the Biomedical Academy organizers: Mrs. Kaehms (Mama Kaehms), Dr. Sundstrom (Mother Julie), and Mrs. Rubio (Our Mom on Campus). I had the privilege of being in Dr. Sundstrom’s Medical Interventions class my junior year, but she was always guiding me, from the moment I stepped foot in the K building. Mrs. Rubio was quite literally, always there for me. I would go into her office at least once a week, and when college application season came around, she responded back to my emails faster than I could even respond back to a text. And Mrs. Kaehms not only taught two of my freshman classes, was my FMP advisor, and taught my sophomore year Biomed class, but she was also our campus HOSA advisor. She is the reason that I was able to run for State Office, and she helped me grow tremendously as a leader, student, and as a person. Mr. Vereen was the greatest AP Chemistry teacher I could ask for, and not because he made his class easy, but because he made it difficult. It was in his course that I was able to transition my understanding of science from a rote memorization of words and equations, to a true, conceptual understanding that I could apply anywhere I went.

“Of the sciences, and given my interest in the health sciences, I always was particularly intrigued by the life sciences, so AP Biology with Ms. Sininger was incredibly rewarding. Similar to AP Chemistry with Mr. Vereen, I learned more than just about biology, I learned how to apply the sciences in the real world. Ms. Sininger was an amazing teacher, and what I enjoyed most about her teaching was the way that she related to me and the rest of my peers. My last science class on campus was Physics with the one and only, Katina Lewis. Mrs. Lewis was undoubtedly the most hardcore teacher on campus, she was truly passionate about what she did, and she inspired her students to understand the value in physics. I made some great memories in her class and wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. I can honestly say I would not be the person I am today, without these people.

“Beyond just the classroom, I had an extremely valuable experience in the ROP program with Mrs. Nancy McNeil, and the staff in the ER and the ICU at Stanford HealthCare ValleyCare hospital. This eye-opening experience demonstrated to me the real side of healthcare that is not often seen by many people.

“Although the experience was memorable, the Class of 2018 had an eventful senior year. From the very beginning, our state, and even our region, was facing the worst fires we had ever seen. With the cancellation of school-wide events, we got off to a rough start. Then, began the “negotiations” (or lack thereof) for better pay for our teachers. Nearly the entire student population stood by our teachers, and the lack of good leadership from the District Office was exposed to the entire community, but we stood our ground for what was right. We had several race discrimination and sex discrimination issues our year as well, and our class handled those with executing a “Dubversity” week. The United States had recently elected a leader that poorly represented what our nation stood for, and that President also lacked the values and morals that we intend to instill in ourselves and Dublin students. Our nation also faced some of the worst gun violence in history, on campuses that should be the safest places for students. But instead of looking at each of these obstacles, challenges, and tragedies as reasons to lose hope, our class, my peers, and myself, found reasons to fight back, to stand for what is right, and to change our community and lead a change for the rest of the nation.

“Together, I reflect upon my high school experience with two words: knowledge & change. With a passion to pursue knowledge, and a never-ending curiosity to explore beyond what I know, and to better understand the world around me, I can serve my community and our world and create positive change. That’s what I learned from my time here.”

Neil Bedi_2OneDublin.org: How did enrolling in the Dublin Partners in Education Summer Academy help to facilitate your academic goals?

Bedi: “DPIE was a fundamental part of my growth and education as a student. I took three courses with DPIE: Geometry, Honors Chemistry, and Video Production. Without DPIE, I would not have been able to reach as far as I did in my STEM education. I was able to not only take more classes, but I learned more about the things I was passionate about. Beyond that, DPIE enabled me to find peers that had similar interests and also sought out was to exceed academically.”

OneDublin.org: Electing to pursue a career in medicine is a major commitment. Explain how you came to this decision.

Bedi: “This in and of itself is a bit of a loaded question, and in all honesty, I can’t say that ‘I always wanted to be a doctor’. I can, however, say that I’ve always been curious, and my 8th grade science teacher, Mrs. Brown, inspired me to connect that curiosity to science. She encouraged me to apply for the Biomed Academy, and even while I was in that academy my freshman and sophomore year, I was pursuing other interests (law, business, politics). But while doing all of that, I was also very actively involved, in the city and school community in various leadership roles. I found my love for leadership and collaboration, and with my extensive science courses, began to look for a place where I could unite each of these passions. At the beginning of my junior year, I found that place: HOSA, an international organization of future health professionals. By the end of my junior year I had been elected to lead a delegation of nearly nine thousand HOSA members and began serving as the California HOSA State Vice President. By then I was certain, I wanted to pursue a career in medicine.

“This passion only grew stronger with my internship at the Stanford HealthCare ValleyCare hospital. I got to meet patients on the best and the worst days of their life and I witnessed things and was exposed to situations I never could have imagined. But thanks to all of that, I grew immensely, and more importantly, I found where I could do the most good. And after witnessing some life-changing events, I came to realize not only how precious life itself is, but how much one patient’s life (or one person’s life) can impact so many people.

“In short, I chose medicine because the purpose that physicians serve aligns with the purpose I wish to fulfill. I can find a way to serve not just individual patients, but I can serve as an advocate for my community. I can continue to pursue my love for science and I can continue to explore why things are the way they are. I can lead, when given the opportunity, or I can make myself an opportunity to bring a team of professionals together, to serve a common purpose for good.

“In particular, I am seeking a career in trauma surgery because that gives me the opportunity to meet someone, on what is, quite literally, the worst day of their life, and I am the one, given the responsibility to help them feel better. And if you do your job right, and you do what you can to help your patients, you can bring joy, comfort, or closure to the patient and their families. And it’s not always about saving a life, and that’s one of the largest misconceptions about medicine. We don’t seek to save lives, professionals need to seek to make lives better, and yes, there is a lot of time where those are the same thing, but there are also times when they are different.

“Now, as I begin my journey in the Seven Year Med (SMED) program in Boston, I can say that have accepted this challenge, a quest to use what I know, and pursue knowledge of what I don’t know, to build upon my knowledge, and I will leave this world a better place than I came into it.

“In essence, I wish to live up to my personal motto: to “aspire to inspire before I expire”

OneDublin.org: You expressed part of your thought-making process. It combined how you looked at things and using your knowledge for change. Can you delve a bit more deeply into this subject?

Bedi: “I touched upon this briefly above, but yes. We live in a world where we choose sides, we define our own right and wrong, we define our values, we define what we believe in, and we choose what we wish to do with that knowledge of one side versus another. In all honesty, I feel this is partially our instinct as humans, and that is why we often get into arguments, fights and wars.

“I continuously seek to counter this approach by looking to understand, holistically, what is in front of me. As opposed to choosing a side and only learning about one aspect of an idea or an argument, to spend the time to understand what the “whole story” is. This sort of ties back to my pursuit of science and truth, and how I pursue knowledge. And with this knowledge, and a true understanding of why things are the way they are, I can spread this knowledge, advocate for the truth, and bring positive change.

“This world is nowhere near perfect, and oftentimes, it appears as quite the opposite. One must simply look to make it better, and again, leave it better than when they came into it. This, with these four questions, demonstrates my approach.

“I might only be seventeen, but I’m always willing to learn, change and grow. My learning/changing/growing has brought me here thus far, and I’m sure I’ll continue to build upon it, but this is where I stand today.”

We don’t know where Neil’s path will lead. But we do know that his journey will benefit others. While taking advantage of every opportunity presented to him, Mr. Bedi is humble in thanking his many mentors from Dublin High School. OneDublin.org would like to thank Neil Bedi for sharing his outlook on life. His needle is pointing True North.

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One Comment
  1. Dr. Arri Vengupta permalink
    August 31, 2018 1:21 pm

    Unfortunately, I have to disagree with what Mr. Bedi said. First he says “we define our own right and wrong” arguing that objective morality and ethics do not exist and this somehow “sort of ties back to my pursuit of science and truth”. Unfortunately science does not tell us how to use knowledge. Take Einstein and his work in theoretical physics. He was not able to control where this information would take. Unfortunately we are now at a stalemate for MAD with nuclear weapons.
    Furthermore aren’t we supposed to embrace diversity? “we choose what we wish to do with that knowledge of one side versus another” followed by “I continuously seek to counter this approach” seems to contradict with that.
    Science has a basis in scientific philosophy it only explains what can be rigorously tested. Even so, there is not absolute truth. You cannot say that smoking causes cancer because there is always that 1%. You can say there is strong evidence for and that there is scientific consensus over, but not not that there is absolute truth over this or that.
    It also has a limitation to materialism and confirmation bias. No longer do you make a hypothesis and then look for evidence. Now it is work out this complex theoretical physic theory and then confirm your findings, if possible. A closed system makes the Big Bang impossible. Where did these constants come from? What happened before the Big Bang? The process of evolution and the Big Bang are incredibly complex processes and desire perfectly defined physical processes such as heat dissipation, gravity constant (big G) and perfect distances.
    If it is “partially our instinct as humans” as Mr. Bedi says, then why should we try to overcome it? What motivates us or even allows us to defy nature or the process of evolution which is survival of the fittest that has been going on for millions of years. Which begs the question where did morality come from? It makes no sense that a selfish process that is naturalistic should develop morality.
    “One must simply look to make it better, and again, leave it better than when they came into it” again I question why? Is your philosophy the only way? Why should I even follow any great leader?

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