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Finding His Center: Saeed Khoncarly

Second-year College of Medicine student Saeed Khoncarly is an aspiring community leader and a creator who puts one quality ahead of any of those labels – his humanity.

Khoncarly came to Northeast Ohio Medical University by way of the NEOMED-Cleveland State University Partnership for Urban Health. He was drawn to its focus on community health.

“I’ve always thought of myself as being a part of a greater community and I hope to be a leader in my community one day,” he says. “What better way to be a leader in your community than to care for others?”

Community comes first

So why medicine? That’s the question of the century, Khoncarly explains.

“There are so many reasons why I want a career in medicine. Ever since I was young, I’ve loved science. I was always fascinated with the human body and how perfect it is – even down to the molecular level. I really couldn’t see myself doing anything other than caring for others. What a beautiful thing it is to have an influence on healing someone,” says Khoncarly.

And he’s found a second passion that couples with medicine – medical education.

Khoncarly proudly serves as a NEOMED Student Curriculum Council representative. He initially joined with the intention of being a voice for the College of Medicine Class of 2021, but now realizes he plays a much larger role.

“I have the opportunity to ensure that our curriculum is and that our administration is doing the best they can to give us the highest quality education possible here at NEOMED,” he says.

The creative side of medicine

Life is not all books and committees for Khoncarly.

In his free time, he’s a freelance photographer. And after a dose of inspiration from the 2018 William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition awards ceremony, Khoncarly has jumped back into the world of writing poetry and prose.

“I kind of abandoned writing my first year of medical school, but especially over the summer, I was able to do a lot of reflection regarding medicine in general,” he says.

Hold onto your humanity

Khoncarly wants students to avoid making the mistake that he did – putting creativity aside for the sake of school.

“Hold onto your humanity. When you enter medical school, it’s very easy to let go of the things that make us human. A lot of us forget the real reason why we joined this fraternity of medicine – to heal and care. When we’re spending hours and hours in the library, it’s easy to forget those things. Instead, we begin to focus on the disease, rather than the patient,” says Khoncarly.

“Do things for yourself that let you remember who you are and why you came here.”