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Hussain Azizi, a medical student in Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine's MD Class of 2018, is well on his way to reaching the American dream.

His recently widowed mother brought her seven young children from Afghanistan to America two weeks after the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The Azizi family bravely built a new life in Scranton. Hussain said, “We found out very fast we were coming to America. My mom had to uproot us and start over from scratch. She didn’t speak English or have any friends here, but she knew her children would get the education they couldn’t have in Afghanistan and reach their potential.” Hussain wanted to become a doctor after interpreting medical appointments for his mother and seeing firsthand how she improved from receiving good healthcare.

As a college sophomore, Hussain participated in Geisinger Commonwealth’s REACH-HEI program. He learned how to apply to medical school and did a research internship with cardiologist Samir Pancholy, MD, clinical professor of medicine. His own pediatrician, Geisinger Commonwealth’s clinical assistant professor of pediatrics Paul Tomcykoski, DO, has also been a powerful mentor. “He is so passionate and cares so much,” Hussain said. “No matter what specialty I choose, I want to emulate him to the best of my ability.”

Hussain chose Geisinger Commonwealth because of its location and culture. He said, “I’m blessed that such a great medical school opened two miles from my house. I interviewed at many medical schools and never saw this close-knit community anywhere else. Geisinger Commonwealth is the perfect fit for me.”
Hussain Azizi-Abdul