Med School Via a Love of Languages
For Harper Gany-Beitler ’13 the path to medical school was entwined with a love of languages. She’s a first-year student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Part of the reason I chose this school is that I’d have opportunities to use my language skills and help people who might have trouble navigating the system because they don’t speak English,” Gany-Beitler explains.
She says the school and hospital are very interested in working with immigrants, many of whom speak French or Spanish, which she studied as a foreign languages major at Hamilton. She minored in anthropology.
At Hamilton and after Gany-Beitler worked as a volunteer with immigrant communities, at one point at a New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital clinic for survivors of torture. "Volunteering there and having the opportunity to watch patients' health improve over time while using language to learn about their incredible stories is what ignited my passion and made me finally decide to commit to medicine," she says.
Gany-Beitler doesn’t know yet which type of medicine she’d like to pursue. In any event, she intends to continue to use her languages. At some point, when she has more time, she would like to pick up another one or revisit Arabic, which she also studied at Hamilton.