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Robert Wood Johnson
Association, plans to keep writing. "It feels like it is a hard thing
to motivate yourself to do," she admits. "One of my goals is to
find a community of like-minded people interested in writing as
well as medicine."
Namrata Gumaste, poet
ike Dr. Uzumcu, second-year student Namrata Gumaste
wrote her first poem in third grade and has been writing
since. Her undergraduate degree from Columbia University is
in creative writing.
"I always had medicine on the horizon," Namrata says, adding
that her mother is a primary care physician, her father is a gas-
troenterologist, and her sister, a Robert Wood Johnson Medical
School 2015 alumna, is a dermatology resident. "So I have seen
the gamut. I just didn't know if I wanted to do what they do."
She had considered becoming a physician or a writer as
potential careers. "In college, I worked at a publishing house
for the summer," Namrata recalls. "Even though I really liked
reading and writing, I did not like it enough to do it for eight
hours a day, and when I spent time in hospitals and volunteer-
ing, I liked doing that work for long periods of time. And I
enjoy helping people and the science of it."
That realization hit: "Do science for a career and write in my
own time."
For a couple of years, Namrata combined both, working in
a New York University endocrinology lab, doing research on
lipid metabolism. She recalls landing this job because the physi-
cian running the lab needed someone who understood science
and could write.
"I had the essential scientific background," she says. "I could
go through reports and make them ten times clearer. It was an
interesting experience, and I had a great time working in the
lab, too."
Namrata, who grew up in Cresskill, had listened to her sister
rave about Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She chose it,
though, for a reason not many cite when picking a graduate
"I got a good feeling when I was here talking to the students,"
she says. "They were happy. I am not a very type A kind of per-
son. I am not a very competitive person. I did not want to be in
a school that felt like a pressure cooker. I felt at Robert Wood,
everyone is very open and helpful. Everyone shares their study
Like many poets, Namrata spends a long time refining short
pieces. And her diligence paid off. She took first prize in the
2017 William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition for medical
Although the first year of medical school did not leave her
lthough the first
year of medical school
did not leave much
time to devote to poetry,
Namrata Gumaste says,
"I hope that I can
continue writing and
never give it up."