Medical student keeps up academics and diversity work in spite of his own cancer diagnosis

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Student Omar Salman

As a medical student at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Omar Salman had learned a lot about cancer: from what goes wrong at the cellular level to cause it as well as patient risk factors and treatment options.

Through the school’s patient-centered curriculum, Salman had explored real patients’ cancer experiences through clinical, scientific, and emotional lenses.

But cancer became something new when Salman got his own diagnosis of bone marrow cancer near the end of his second year of study. “I didn't know what to do next. The school administration is great, but what am I supposed to tell them? I might be dying? It was weird,” Salman said. “You are torn between feeling like you are asking for special treatment but then you realize, I have cancer. Why am I so worried about school?”

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