Amazing Students Profiles

Sara Zadeh

Sara Zadeh

Sara Zadeh is planning to become a doctor. She is a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, UGA’s premedical society, and she is involved with the Student Health Advisory Committee, where she works as a liaison between the University Health Center and the student body. Zadeh also volunteers in Mercy Health Center’s pharmacy clinic once a week, and she volunteers at the Athens Regional Medical Center in the cath lab and in the mother/baby unit. Additionally, she has traveled to Peru and Tanzania to do medical volunteer work. After graduation, she plans to go to medical school. She is also considering a master’s degree in public health.


Mableton, Ga.

High School:

Woodward Academy

Degree objective:

B.S. in biology

Expected graduation:

Spring 2010

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

I am a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, the honors pre-medical society, and I mentor a younger pre-med student I met through this organization. I have been on the Dean’s List since freshman year. I am on the executive board of the Forever Young Campaign that recruits new mentors for the Clarke County Mentor Program. My mentee’s name is Charlotte, and I have been her mentor since sophomore year. I visit her once a week during her lunchtime. The Student Health Advisory Committee has been one of my top priorities since junior year. The SHAC is an organization that provides a student voice in health center operations, promote a positive and open channel of communication between the UHC staff and the student body, and to contribute additional awareness of student issues to the health center administration. Through SHAC, I have had an opportunity to explore many facets of healthcare. I participated in an ad campaign promoting flu shots at the UHC last fall. In Athens, I regularly shadow a local ophthalmologist at Athens Eye Associates. This experience has made me consider a career in opthamology myself. One of the most fulfilling things I do is volunteer at Mercy Health Center once a week as part of the pharmacy clinic. Mercy is a free health clinic for people in Athens who do not have health insurance. I also volunteer at Athens Regional Medical Center. I have worked in the cath lab and mother/baby unit there. Finally, I have traveled into two countries to do medical volunteer work. I traveled to Peru with Cross Cultural Solutions the summer after my first year. I had the chance to shadow a physician, help nurses in a local clinic and help out at a boys’ orphanage. This past May, I traveled to Tanzania with International Service Learning. We worked with the Maasai people, an indigenous African tribe living in Tanzania and Kenya. We taught the Maasai about hygiene. We assessed patients from the village. We prescribed medicine and we learned from a local doctor. It is a trip I will never forget because it solidified my love of medicine.

Current Employment:

I work at the Ramsey Center in the Strength and Conditioning department. I make sure people are satisfied with their workout environment by answering any questions patrons may have about the facility, keeping the machines in good working condition and making sure patrons are following the rules. I really enjoy working at Ramsey because it motivates me to stay healthy and keep up my workout routine.

Family Ties to UGA:

I am the first member of my family to attend UGA. My dad came from Iran to the United States to attend college in Texas. He received his master’s degree in engineering and is now vice president of his company.

I chose to attend UGA because…

I was torn between many careers and was not exactly sure what I wanted to major in when I applied to college. I loved science, but I wanted to keep all my options open. I thought that UGA would give me many opportunities, and it absolutely did. Before I applied to UGA, I had never visited campus. When I came with my dad to visit for the first time on a guided tour, the spirit of the students was one of the first aspects of the student body that I noticed. I had never seen such school spirit before and was pleasantly surprised. Everyone I met made me feel welcome and important. Looking back, I am grateful I chose UGA because my experiences here have helped me realize that my career path lies in medicine.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

…going to UGA gymnastics and track meets. Sometimes I go to North Campus for a relaxing walk. I also like walking through the free speech area at Tate when someone is initiating a debate about a hot topic. Walking around campus on game days is incredible too. When I see first-hand how many people love UGA, it makes me proud to be a Dawg.

When I have free time, I like…

…to spend quality time with my friends. I love to watch movies. Having debates/discussions with people who don’t agree with me offers a different perspective on an opinion I may have. I am also known to go to Barnes and Noble for no reason other than to browse through all the books there. I love that place! I really like to read books about skin and body care and experiment with new makeup and skin products.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

…not finish my malaria medication while I was in Tanzania. Many people on the trip were becoming infected with malaria so I figured the medication didn’t work. It turns out that I did not contract malaria or any kind of sickness for that matter.

My favorite place to study is…

…Barnes and Noble and the East Campus Village Dining Hall. I like to study in Barnes and Noble because I like the atmosphere. I cannot study in a place that is too quiet. In Barnes and Noble, I can hear the blender making a frappuccino in the cafe or the rustling of pages turning. The only downside is the lack of Internet access there. The ECV Dining Hall also has a wonderful atmosphere. I study in the actual dining space or in the little study room downstairs depending on my mood.

My favorite professor is…

…Dr. Oliver Li is one of my favorite professors at UGA. I took his anatomy and physiology class (VPHY 3100) and was very impressed with his teaching style. He engages students by showing why what he is teaching is important. He also has a great sense of humor that always kept me waiting for the next joke in class. What I admire most about Dr. Li is his passion for real teaching, not just expecting students to memorize. I remember having a lot of trouble understanding the four pressures on blood vessels. I read and re-read my book and notes over and over but could not grasp the concept. When I went to him for help, he made me explain to him what I knew, filled in the spots I didn’t know and then required that I repeat everything we talked about in my own words. This way, as I was learning, I was also learning how to explain the concept to others in detail, which further solidified my comprehension. Because of this, I will never forget those four pressures and how they affect blood flow in our bodies.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

…Dr. Atul Gawande. I was first introduced to Dr. Gawande through his most recent book, Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance. I have also read his other book, Complications. Dr. Gawande is a cancer surgeon and staff member of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He also writes for the New Yorker. He received his B.A.S. from Stanford University, M.A. (in politics, philosophy, and economics) from Oxford University, M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health. His style in his books and articles is very honest and straightforward. He examines difficult situations that doctors face in the medical field and offers multiple perspectives in each chapter. I would love to sit and discuss his views on our current healthcare crisis as well as his suggestions for a young person thinking of pursuing a career in medicine.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

…eliminate racism and stereotypes, which is something I am already working to do. Maybe then Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream will be fully realized. Even if I fail, I would continue to be the change I want to see in the world everyday.

After graduation, I plan to…

…go to medical school and receive my M.D. degree. I am thinking about possibly doing an M.P.H. program as well. Somewhere in there, I would like to travel and see the world.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

…taking organic chemistry during my second year. Hands down, organic chemistry is one of the largest time commitments I have made at UGA. Before taking the class, I heard so many horror stories about how difficult it is to pass. I will admit I was a little afraid of taking it. I remember for the second test for Organic II, I studied upwards of 35 hours which is something I had never done before.