First-year Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University (Einstein) student Eugene Palatulan has already mastered the lesson of compassion, a vital attribute for any aspiring physician. After Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, he desperately wanted to help. Eugene spearheaded an effort with Einstein’s chapters of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association, the Global Health Center and Global Health Club to raise nearly $3,000 to support relief efforts in the Philippines.
Eugene and his family lived in the Philippines until he was 13, when they moved to the Bronx. He plans to return there soon. “For me, it’s far from over. I’m planning to spend part of my summer break doing a medical mission there, because I’d really like to pitch in and help with the relief effort that is still underway.””
Eugene credits the Post-Baccalaureate Program in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, SUNY (sponsored by DOH and AMSNY Diversity in Medicine) with fostering his success in medical school and helping him become a role model. He was inspired when he heard from program alumni who were physicians and were making a real difference in their communities. Their experiences reaffirmed his convictions to follow in their footsteps and be an active physician and contributor to the quality of life in his community and beyond.
“There are people like me from underrepresented backgrounds who are trying to become leaders in our society,” he said. “Other program alumni and I agree that the [SUNY Buffalo post-bac] program has prepared us be on top of medical school and simultaneously be involved in the community, for projects like the fundraising effort.”
In the photo, Eugene Palatulan holds the dollar sign with his classmates to celebrate their fundraising efforts for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.