Akash Jani

Akash Jani: Seeking skills to make the pain go away

Bachelor of Arts/Doctor of Medicine | School of Medicine
Graduation Year: 2020

Why did you choose medicine?

I chose medicine because I can’t see myself doing anything else. You can see someone in so much pain and suffering that they can’t enjoy their lives and I get to learn the skills to make pain go away. I think that’s pretty awesome.

Why did you choose the six-year UMKC program?

I knew I wanted to be a physician and I knew I would learn best in the unique docent units at UMKC. (UMKC School of Medicine docent teams are 10 to 12 students from the same class with a mentoring physician.) I am most interested in general surgery.

“I was researching medical programs that accepted students right out of high school, and UMKC was a top choice.”

What are the challenges of the program?

The challenges are how to maintain a well-balanced lifestyle. Some of the students begin this program when they are 17 and 18 and it’s difficult to learn medicine and also experience the “college life,” do extracurricular activities and be there for family events and occasions.

What are the benefits of the six-year medical program?

Every day I get to wake up and learn. The professors are all highly proficient in their fields, and having friends that you lived in the dorms with and are supported by really creates a positive environment. In addition, the school pairs you in a unit with upper years and a senior mentor, which adds to the positive environment.

Where did you grow up?

Oak Forest, a suburb of Chicago. I graduated from Oak Forest High School.

How has your college program inspired you?

My college program has inspired me to believe in myself. If you told me in high school that I would be accepted directly into a medical program, helping patients and learning medicine at the age of 20, I probably would have laughed. I’m inspired to always dream bigger and believe in myself to do the impossible.

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

I’ve learned that I’m much more multifaceted that I thought I was. I came into this program with a strength in science and a drive to help people. I now try to involve myself with social justice issues, public health, mental health awareness and poverty alleviation. These are some things I never even heard about before UMKC. I learned that I don’t have to leave here with just medical knowledge but with actual experiences and skills in order to be a better doctor and member of the community.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?

“The test doesn’t matter. That’s just a number. Did you actually learn anything? That’s the only thing that matters.”

What do you admire most at UMKC?

I admire the teamwork at UMKC. Being so young, it can be daunting to go about this journey on your own but there are so many resources that are provided to us. The most important is our upper years and senior partners. Everyone is willing to help and teach the year below which I think is very relieving and helpful for everyone.

What is one word that best describes you?

Understanding. I think you can get lost in your own confidences and success and forget your struggle. I hope that everyone that talks to me can feel comfortable knowing that I don’t judge and most likely have experienced a similar struggle, failure, hardship or loss. I always found it relieving when I had friends that I could understand.

What’s your favorite social media channel?

Twitter, because it’s a place where people can tweet funny things about their days, different professionals can give their personal opinions on issues and news outlets can do breaking news, and it’s cool to get this instantly in my hand. Plus I think I’m not too bad of a “tweeter” myself @akashjani

What’s your favorite spot to eat in Kansas City?

Being a vegetarian, I think that FüD has to be my favorite!

What motto do you live by?

Working hard and earning what you want in life. I believe that the more I practice, the better I will be.

What excites you?

Well, I’m a big nerd. It excites me to learn about new things. I love asking questions and learning about things aside from medicine as well.

Do you belong to any organizations on campus?

Yes. I am in involved in Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity on the Volker campus. I’m also involved in American Medical Association (AMA), Wellness Council and I also help out at the Sojourner Health Clinic.

How did you hear about UMKC?

I heard about UMKC on my own. I was researching medical programs that accepted students right out of high school, and UMKC was a top choice.

What are your lifelong goals?

My lifelong goals are to be a person and a physician serving people. I want to promote health in the community and help to alleviate poverty.