April 30, 2015, Washington, D.C. – In 2013, Sally Salari applied to the PAAIA Mentorship Program and was matched with Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh – a renowned New York plastic surgeon who has appeared on CNN, CBS 60 minutes, NBC Today Show, Discovery Health, Newsweek, and The New York Times. The chance to be mentored by Dr. Alizadeh was an exciting opportunity for Salari, who had just graduated from Columbia University and was starting her master’s degree in biomedical sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Beginning in September 2013, Salari met with Dr. Alizadeh to discuss her career goals. She explained that she wanted her medical career to focus on health disparities and would love to be involved in volunteer medicine when she becomes an established physician.
Dr. Alizadeh offered Salari a unique opportunity to work with his nonprofit organization called Mission: Restore, which provides free medical care, education, and research to help adults and children in need around the world.
“When Dr. Alizadeh and I met for the first time, he suggested that I get involved with Mission: Restore so that we could have a project to work on together,” Salari told PAAIA. “I really appreciated his dedication to helping expose me to volunteer medicine and his desire to actually get to know me. We met at least once a month to talk about my work and applying to medical school.”
Through her mentorship experience with Dr. Alizadeh and her internship at Mission: Restore, Salari was able to gain hands-on experience in her field of interest that has deepened her passion for the medical field. After interning at Mission: Restore for nearly two years, she now looks forward to entering medical school this fall.
“Dr. Alizadeh ended up writing me a letter of recommendation and his support and encouragement have been invaluable,” said Salari. “I’m so thankful to have met him and have such a fantastic mentor!”
Click here to apply to the 2015 PAAIA Mentorship Program.
Click here to view PAAIA’s 2015 summer internship offerings.