Hinesh Patel, dual M.D./Ph.D
Class of 2023's Hinesh Patel, dual M.D./Ph.D. (Steve Zylius/UCI)

Having been an Anteater for almost 10 years, Hinesh Patel has experienced numerous highlights and challenges, including pursuing his lifelong dream of taking a nine-month backpacking tour around the world and suffering a spinal cord injury that required an eight-month medical leave. He takes great pride in the university’s strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as its success in navigating the pandemic, impressive growth and medical campus expansion.

Can you describe a time you felt most proud to be an Anteater?

The White Coat Ceremony, which signifies our entrance into the medical profession, was an especially meaningful moment for me. It was an honor to share the stage with faculty and fellow students at UCI, dedicating our careers to helping others live happier, healthier lives. I was so excited to become part of that community. 

What are your plans after graduation?

The week after Match Day, when we found out where we’re going to complete our residency programs, I actually got married! Immediately after graduation, my wife and I plan to take some time to celebrate. Then I’ll complete my preliminary medicine intern year here at UCI, after which I’ll be enrolled in Stanford’s dual-pathway nuclear medicine and diagnostic radiology program. My long-term career goals lie in academic medicine, working as a physician-scientist, balancing a mixture of clinical work and molecular imaging-based research. I’m eager to get started!

“Hinesh has a very strong research background coupled with excellence in clinical training. His plan is to pursue a career in radiology, with the goal of using his training in biomedical engineering to develop new imaging approaches. I believe that he’s in a unique position to accomplish this because of his extensive experience in developing imaging technology using artificial intelligence and machine learning. In addition, he’s one of the most highly motivated and resilient individuals I know, with enough ‘grit’ to succeed in any endeavor. He truly enjoys the connection between research and medicine, and I’m confident that he’ll be successful and make important contributions to advance the field of radiology.”

– Dr. Al Goldin, director, Medical Scientist Training Program

Who has been your biggest influence at UCI?

The Medical Scientist Training Program community – in particular, program director Dr. Al Goldin and administrative director Joanne Ham. They have meaningfully impacted me both personally and professionally, from warmly welcoming me to allowing me to follow my nontraditional ambitions, including completing a Whitaker Fellowship and traveling the globe, to supporting my return to the program after my injury and advocating for changes that made my research labs more wheelchair-accessible. My experience at UCI would not have been the same without them.

What advice would you give to your first-year self?

When I first got to campus, I received some simple, yet valuable advice from an older MSTP student. He said to try to “keep your head above the fray.” I think the idea was that it’s easy to get caught up or lost in the stress and immediacy of the various challenges in medical school and life in general. It’s important to try to maintain a broader view of yourself and your goals, and to maintain a balanced life to help weather the ups and downs of the inevitable failures and successes as you continue to work toward achieving your goals. I’d tell my younger self to keep the big picture in mind, to enjoy the journey, and to be confident, humble, kind, and curious.