Alex Phillips

Expected Graduation year: 2018
Hometown: St. Simons Island, Georgia

Education

Georgia State University, Bachelor of Science - Biology
Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University, (Istanbul, Turkey)

Of Note

Alliance of Civilizations Institute International Student Scholarship (Awarded by Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University, 2012-2014)
Second Place Oral Presentation, Georgia State Undergraduate Research Conference (Awarded by Georgia State Honors College for "What Do Etiologies Do?" 2012)
Zell Miller Scholarship (2011-2012)
First Place, Georgia State Honors Paper/Project Competition Scholarship (Awarded by Georgia State Honors College for "Community Perspectives on Cause and Treatment of Congenital Heart Disease in Iraqi Kurdistan" 2011)
Certificate of Appreciation presented by Dhi Qar Health Directorate and Dhi Qar Provincial Council, (Nasiriyah, Dhi Qar, Iraq, May 27, 2011)
HOPE Scholarship (2008-2011)
Georgia State University President's List (2008-2010)
Georgia State University Speech Competition Finalist (2009)

Why did you decide to pursue your M.D.?

I did not grow up wanting to be a doctor. I took a round-about course into medicine. I originally went into biology thinking I wanted to do basic research, but was introduced to the discipline of anthropology, and medical anthropology within that, in an undergraduate course. After a period of independent study and meetings with a medical anthropologist at Georgia State University, I decided to conduct an original research project on an issue and a people underrepresented in the academic literature. The issue was congenital heart disease (birth defects of the heart) and the people were the Kurds of Iraq. A year later I expanded that project to include Shia Arabs in southern Iraq, but it was during the first summer of fieldwork that I met Dr. Aso and was set on the course towards medical school. Dr. Aso is a pediatric cardiologist, and I spent many days with him in his office not only collecting data, but also observing his interactions with children and especially their families. I realized two or three weeks into my time with Dr. Aso that I wanted to have the kind of relationship with people in need that he had with his patients, and I wanted to have the tools to positively impact their lives the way Dr. Aso did every day.