June 13, 2018
Gohar Manzar, M.D., has always had a love for learning. The 24-year-old, who graduated from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in May 2019, has had what one might consider an “accelerated” education path.
After completing her undergraduate studies in biology and chemistry, she graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2009, and went to the University of Iowa for her Ph.D. She was only 14 years old at the time.
Upon completion of her Ph.D., Manzar was inspired by the loss of a loved one to continue her studies and pursue a career in oncology at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine.
However, she lost a bit of her focus during her first year of medical school when she attended a bereavement ceremony where parents shared with medical students their experiences of losing a child to cancer. She wondered how to process difficult situations in medicine and if she would be able to stay strong for her patients when they’d need it.
Struggling with this uncertainty, Manzar turned to the Delores Jean Lavins Center for Humanities in Medicine, which uses the arts to promote healing and offers humanities-based courses to medical students.
The center helped her form a way to cope and navigate the emotional challenges she will face as an oncology physician through poetry and the arts. Now Manzar is in the habit of regularly taking time to write as a way to sustain herself as a physician.
“I find it very important,” Manzar said, “to not lose a sense of novelty and awe at the responsibility I have, the privileges I enjoy in caring for patients, and what a gift it is to be part of an institution and profession as impactful as ours.”
A version of this story originally appeared in Mayo Clinic Magazine, which focuses on the many ways philanthropy supports Mayo's mission to provide the best care to each patient every day through integrated clinical practice, medical education and research.