Salil Kalarn, OMS III at A.T. Still University - SOMA, Awarded $7,500 Founders' Scholarship

March 4, 2020
Salil Kalarn, SOMA

Salil Kalarn attended the University of Arizona for undergraduate education where he double-majored in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He then pursued a master's degree in Cellular and Molecular Medicine. During his time at University of Arizona, Salil was involved in Oncology research for four years and published two research articles in the field of Oncology. In addition, he participated and organized a public health mission within Tucson and in Central America as a member of Global Medical Brigades. Currently, Salil is pursuing a Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from AT Still University. During his first year at A.T. Still University, he was a team leader for the Nutrition and Health Awareness program which is a research and community service program developed by A.T. Still students to provide education to middle school children about nutrition and health. In addition, Salil went to the University of Maryland during summer break to conduct Ophthalmology research and to organize multiple free clinics in downtown Baltimore. In his second year, Salil was an active student tutor as a member of the PALS program and conducted clinical research at the Tucson CHC. This clinical research was accepted to the El Rio/Wright center poster presentation in Tucson Community Health Institute poster presentation in Chicago and published in the Journal for Student Research.

Where do you consider home to be?
I consider Arizona my home! I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and then I moved to Tucson, Arizona to attend the University of Arizona for undergraduate education. I went to A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona for one year and then was lucky enough to come back to Tucson, Arizona for the rest of my three years in medical school.

What do you love about Arizona?
I love the culture, endless sunshine, interesting indoor and outdoor activities, and all of the amazing people I have met in Arizona.

What is your favorite thing to do in your (very limited!) free time?
My favorite things to do with my free time are hanging out with friends, hiking and watching movies.

How did you discover you wanted a career in medicine?
I discovered I wanted a career in medicine when I went on a volunteer medical and public health mission to Honduras. During this trip I saw first-hand the positive impact that medicine and small public health initiatives had on peoples' lives. I hope to continue to do these types of missions abroad and work on problems happening in our Arizona community and to help everyone live a healthy and prosperous life.

Who has been the most influential person in your life throughout your journey as a medical student?
The most influential person in my life throughout my journey as a medical student has been my girlfriend Sarah who is also a medical student. We met in undergrad during a medical missions trip to Honduras and ever since then she has inspired me with her passion for medicine, her strong willpower and above all her positive caring attitude for her patients, friends, and family.

Which specialty do you plan to practice?
I plan on pursuing Ophthalmology.

Tell us about a typical day in the life of a medical student.
A typical day for me starts early at 5:30am with breakfast and light studying. I then go to the clinic or to the hospital where I have the privilege to see patients and learn from amazing physicians. During the day, I not only get to present cases, but I also have exciting opportunities to get quizzed by my attending physicians and grow my medical knowledge and patient care in several dynamic ways. I usually finish by 6pm and then I spend some time reading about the different diseases I encountered that day.

What advice would you give to a student considering medicine as a career?
Pursuing a career in medicine is hard work in every step of the way, but all that work pays off when you get to make such a positive impact in your patients' lives every day. It is one of the very few jobs where you get to think and do incredibly fascinating things on a daily basis that directly influence the lives of my community members in a positive way.

What excites you about becoming a physician?
I am excited to pursue a career as a physician because I want to positively impact peoples' lives and I want to be a part of research initiatives to make the community healthier. I am also excited to be a part of all the new advances in the medical field that bring hope to people dealing with illness. 

What led you to pursue osteopathic medicine as opposed to allopathic medicine?
My family medicine physician while growing up was an osteopathic doctor who inspired me to become an osteopathic physician. While shadowing him in high school I saw how he treated people as a whole and how he was able to offer a non-medication solution to many different problems in peoples' lives. In addition, many people come to the clinic with musculoskeletal problems that often times are treated with pain medication. It was inspiring to watch him do Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine that not only helped people with their pain immediately, but also facilitated the natural healing processes of the body.

What do you think the future of medicine looks like?
I think the future of medicine is filled with many amazing advances in technology, personalized medicine, new treatment options, and more knowledge about diseases that will help people live better and more fulfilled lives.

Part of the TOMF mission is to provide high-quality Continuing Medical Education to medical professionals in Southern Arizona. We would like to know how you learn best so that we can provide effective and engaging CME to your generation of osteopathic physicians. Which of the following provides the best learning experience in your opinion?
I learn best by hands-on presentations and activities but online learning via ‘webinars' is a close second.

Return to News listings