Columbia University Medical Center

New P&S Graduates Share Their Stories

From a former professional ballet dancer to a history buff who decided at age 5 to become a doctor, each member of the diverse Class of 2016 has traveled a unique path to medicine. Here are some of their stories:

Ani Nalbandian

Ani Nalbandian, P&S Class of 2016

When Ani Nalbandian was growing up, the youngest child of Armenian immigrants from Lebanon, nobody in her family thought she would become a doctor. Except her.

Read her story.



Brian Fallon

Brian-Fallon-thumbBrian Fallon worked as a financial consultant for academic medical centers, and the contact with people in medicine revived his childhood interest in medicine. “At P&S,” he says, “I finally found the combination of math and science and helping people that I didn’t realize I had been looking for.”

Read his story.


Angelina Gomes

Gomes_Angelina_thumb Queens native Angelina Gomes has worked and studied on four continents and is now looking forward to opening a practice for underserved communities in the United States.

Read more.



Hasani Swindell

Hasani Swindell_P&S-2016_smallMedicine was the only career Hasani Swindell ruled out during his youth, but the doctors who cared for a family member changed his mind.

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Victoria North

VictoriaNorth-thumbAfter a career as a professional ballet dancer, Victoria North’s experience as a ballet teacher helped her realize she has a passion for working with people to identify and solve problems.

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Paul Blackcloud

BlackcloudP2-thumbIn the seventh grade, Paul Blackcloud was assigned to write about schizophrenia for a school report. “I recognized how debilitating it could be,” and it sparked his interest in medicine.

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David Hankins

Hankins D_thumbTaking care of his mother during her battle with lung cancer gave David Hankins first-hand experience with the stress endured by caregivers.

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Randall Lee

Randall Lee thumbAs a nontraditional medical student, Randall Lee was worried he was too old for medical school and that he wouldn’t fit in.

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