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ALUMNI AT WORK

Ami (left) and Amit Majmudar

NEOMED GRAD PRACTICES POETRY

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BY ELAINE GUREGIAN

riting poetry is “more exhilarating than exhausting’’ – like a good game of racquetball, says NEOMED graduate Amit Majmudar, M.D. (’03). He believes that words can change lives. As Ohio’s first poet laureate, appointed by Gov. John Kasich in December 2015, Dr. Majmudar plans to use poetry for just that purpose. In his new post, he’ll be expected to provide a minimum of 10 public readings or events annually in urban and rural settings across the state. He plans to mix poetry with music or visual art. He’ll start with 10 students or so from the most disadvantaged school districts in Ohio, mentoring some of them himself and connecting the rest with fellow poets. His goal is to publish student poetry online in a literary journal. “First, your own school district thinks you have talent, and then a recognized poet thinks you have talent: I believe that it can be a life-changer for a kid from the inner city to have someone who believes in them,’’ Dr. Majmudar says. Dr. Majmudar (pronounced MAZH-moo-dar) doesn’t have to give up his day job as a diagnostic nuclear radiologist in Columbus for his two-year appointment as poet laureate. When he was at NEOMED, he pragmatically chose radiology because he foresaw that its regular hours and lack of on-call emergencies would allow him to continue writing. “I’m like a shift worker,’’ he says. However, he acknowledges that managing the two positions plus family life with seven-year-old twin sons and a two-year-old daughter is possible because of his supportive wife, Ami (“like my name, but without the t’’) . 18 I G N I T I N G

A child of Indian immigrants who were primary care physicians, Dr. Majmudar credits his parents for letting him learn to manage his own time when he was a teenager growing up in Northeast Ohio. Although Amit earned a Doctor of Medicine degree at NEOMED in 2003 (after his sister, Shilpa, a 1999 graduate), his parents also let him follow his bliss. “When I was 17 years old, I wrote this giant book of poetry and my parents paid to have it published. They couldn’t relate to my obsession and they didn’t really read my poetry, but they supported me and they are over the moon that I am poet laureate now,’’ he says. The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly and Poetry Magazine are among the publications that have featured Dr. Majmudar’s poetry. The New York Times and Ohio’s acclaimed Kenyon Review have published his essays and literary criticism. Poetry filled a need in the physician back when he was a medicine student. Dr. Majmudar remembers entering the William Carlos Williams poetry contest and studying with Delese Wear, Ph.D., professor of family and community medicine, as highlights of his NEOMED education. He believes that the key to good psychological health is for students ‘’to have something outside your syllabi, anatomy lab and anxiety about grades. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a sport or religion or something else. Outside interests make you well rounded, a person of the world,’’ he says. For him, “school was work and poetry was play.’’

T H E PA S S I O N O F P H Y S I C I A N S , P H A R M A C I S T S A N D H E A LT H C A R E R E S E A R C H E R S

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Ignite Magazine | Spring 2016  

Ignite is a biannual publication designed to showcase and celebrate the advancement of students, innovation and research, and community heal...

Ignite Magazine | Spring 2016  

Ignite is a biannual publication designed to showcase and celebrate the advancement of students, innovation and research, and community heal...

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