Parent panel discusses careers in medicine

Dr. Elizabeth Drucker
Dr. Deborah Zuckerman
Dr. Larry Epstein
Dr. Merrill Weitzel
Dr. Huihong Xu
Dr. Dorothy Cunningham
Dr. Paul Weitzel

A panel of parents in the medical profession described their careers and career paths in Hall on 11 April. With such a wealth of experience within the R.L. community from which to draw, it seemed a perfect way to broaden the career horizons of our students with first hand knowledge and insight.


One of the things almost all of them touched on was how they discovered their own particular penchant within a medical career.


Dr. Larry Epstein thought he wanted to be a pediatrician, but it wasn’t until he began his rotations that he realized he wanted to do medicine with adults. His decision to specialize in breathing disorders in sleep was influenced largely by his mentor, a pulmonologist. Because the field was so new, he had to combine two areas of studies—pulmonary critical care and sleep.


Dr. Paul Weitzel majored in history in college, but took premed anyway “just in case.” He knew he didn’t want to spend his life at a desk; he knew he did like people, fixing things, and working with his hands. In his chosen field of sports medicine and orthopedic surgery (where his tools include drills and saws) he has found all three.


Dr. Elizabeth Drucker was trained as an interventional radiologist, but went back to law school when she realized that the kind of care patients were getting (or not getting) was determined by things beyond their control. Since then she has been involved with policy and ethics, and creating software and systems to make medical records accessible to doctors.

As a follow up to this medical panel Hall, Harry Callewaert II organized a session with Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, Faculty Dean of Continuing Education and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, who spoke about his work and career path to interested juniors, seniors, and faculty on 19 April. 


The parents who graciously gave their morning to be on the panel were:

Dr. Elizabeth Drucker (Ben Rivitz I), radiologist affiliated with Newton-Wellesley HospitalDr. Dorothy Cunningham (Evan Epstein I), owner and physician at Washington Square Dermatology specializing in medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatologyDr. Larry Epstein (Evan Epstein I), instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate physician, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women’s HospitalDr. Deborah Zuckerman (Jacob Gendelman I), pediatric ophthalmologist at Burlington Eye AssociatesDr. Paul Weitzel (Will I, Harry III, Charlie V), orthopedic surgeon at New England Baptist Hospital, assistant clinical professor at Tufts University School of MedicineDr. Merrill Weitzel (Will I, Harry III, Charlie V), specializes in gynecology and obstetrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s HospitalDr. Huihong Xu (Kevin Zhu I), assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Boston University School of Medicine