VTC School of Medicine student motivated to serve patients and overcome health disparities

Jay Patel, VTC School of Medicine Student with Dean Cynda Johnson

Jay Patel’s path to medicine begins with the heart — specifically one that belonged to his sister. Patel was 5-years-old when his twin sisters were born. One had Tetralogy of Fallot, a rare condition when a baby is born with four heart defects.

“She's had numerous procedures done, including four open-heart surgeries. For some reason, every time there would be a complication. All of the stuff they warn you could happen after surgery, seemed to happen to her all of the time,” said Patel, a second-year student at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. “But when that happened, the health care team was immediately responsive and did everything they could to help her. She got through all of that. Now, she's in college. That was my first real exposure to medicine.”

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