Abhishek Rauniyar

September 27, 2023

MSBS Class of 2023

Where is your hometown?
Garuda, Nepal

Undergraduate studies:
Bachelors of Science in Biology, Minor in Psychology and Chemistry

Graduate studies, if applicable:
Master of Public Health in Global Health Epidemiology

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in a rural village in Garuda, Nepal. I immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 17. My desire to pursue a career in medicine and public health started from my experiences with inequitable healthcare systems in Nepal and the U.S. My journey to medicine has been very bumpy but full of great experiences. I received my Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Psychology and Chemistry from the University of Colorado Denver. Afterwards, I finished my Masters of Public Health in Global Health Epidemiology from the Colorado School of Public Health. This led me to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be at the forefront of a pandemic response. Before coming to the MSBS program, I worked as an Epidemiology Branch Manager at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment serving 30+ local health departments and their COVID response team. Throughout this time, my continued efforts to get into medical school were unsuccessful. The MSBS program provided another opportunity to pursue my passions.

What initially brought you to RVU? Why did you decide to pursue this degree?
Two of my close friends are alumni of the MSBS program who started in the COM this fall. They played a major role in my decision to pursue this degree at RVU. I initially applied to the COM directly and was not offered an interview. Afterwards, my friends talked to me about the MSBS program and how it could provide another pathway for medical school.

What do you enjoy doing when not at RVU (family life, interests and hobbies)?
I enjoy exploring Colorado and outdoor adventures. When I need to destress, I often take a ride up to the mountains and go on a hike with my friends. I also really enjoy cooking and hosting my friends over for dinner. Sometimes, I use my Pomodoro breaks between studying to play chess (and, yes, it does help me relax and destress). My girlfriend, who is also in the MSBS program, loves going on Costco dates with me when we can’t go to the mountains.

What is an interesting or little known fact about you:
Something that I find very interesting about my early life is that my house in Nepal had a water pump installed by the WHO. Back then, this pump was the only source of clean water for the entire village. It was such a simple intervention that likely saved several lives in that village, including mine. This is also where my interest in public health started.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given by a professor or student while at RVU?
Professors and students while at RVU have reminded me that scores do not define us or determine whether or not we will be better doctors. Our experiences, curiosity, and willingness to learn more are what shape us to keep growing. The current academic metric system often limits us, but we are so much more than our scores.

What are your medical interests?
Based on my past experiences, I have gathered that I thrive in emergency responses where things are changing and moving fast. I also want to use my skills and knowledge to serve the global community. As of right now, I am interested in either general surgery or emergency medicine but I am also keeping an open mind as I learn more about other specialties in medicine.

What is a favorite memory you have from being in RVU?
My favorite memory thus far from being in RVU is gathering by the glass window to get some sunlight. Some of us gather here during our 10-minute breaks between classes. We laugh, vent, and talk about almost everything in the world. These 10 min breaks help us get through even the most stressful weeks. We talk about our weekend plans, food recipes, recent travels, Celsius and its impact on our grades, and how Minnesota names its snow plows. The common theme here is that we take a fun study break.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
I know from my own experience, how hard it can be to navigate the process of getting into medical school, especially if you are a first-generation student. My advice for prospective students is to stay persistent and determined. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make mistakes. This is how we learn and grow. MSBS program is a very intense 9-month program but it also guides you on how to become a well-prepared medical student. You learn so many new student skills and discover a supportive environment around you. Best of all, you can bypass MCAT.