Tutor Spotlight: Eli Freiman – Med School Tutors

  • /Reviewed by: Amy Rontal, MD
  • Eli with his month old nephew WilliamThis week, it’s our great pleasure to introduce you to yet another of our beloved USMLE tutors, Eli Freiman. Eli is finishing up his last year of medical school at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is pursuing a career in Pediatrics with an interest in Oncology.

    He has crushed his USMLEs, scored above the 90th percentile on all his Shelf Exams, and earned honors in all his clerkships. All numbers aside, what makes Eli unique is the incredible compassion, insight and warmth he brings to his work with his students.   

    Where do you go to medical school?

    I attend the University of Massachusetts.

    Where are you doing your residency and in what specialty?

    I’m currently applying in pediatrics (still an MS4!) and eagerly waiting for Match Day on March 20th!

    What are your career plans after residency?

    I’m hoping to complete a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology. I also hope to continue my involvement in public health, public policy, and legislation through organized medicine as it relates to pediatrics. I’ll probably end up getting an MPH too.

    What accomplishment in your medical career are you most proud of?

    As cliché as it might sound I really am most proud of the moments where I have been part of a great team that has made the lives of our patients better. It’s what makes medicine such an incredible field. Every other accomplishment pales in comparison to seeing a child go home healthy.

    Do you do any research or have any publications?

    Bridging my first and second years I spent eight months in a wet lab learning the basics of bench research and working with zebrafish on glutamate receptor signaling in melanoma and PTEN assays in angiosarcoma. I had an incredibly supportive PI and lab who really helped guide me – it would be an understatement to say I was lost at times. Now during my fourth year I am working on two separate projects, looking at the epidemiology and public health impact of neonatal abstinence syndrome in Massachusetts and evaluating novel leadership curricula for preclinical students. 

    What brought you to Med School Tutors? Why did you choose to be a tutor?

    I choose to be a tutor because—just as seeing a patient go home healthy—seeing your students succeed is so rewarding. Listening to students’ excitement as they wrap their heads around difficult subjects and see everything start to click is just awesome. I chose to work with Med School Tutors because of the infrastructure and incredible support it offers to us as tutors. The staff are all incredible and really let us focus on tutoring and giving our students the best chance to ace their exams.

    What’s one piece of advice you would give to students as they are finishing interview season?

    Having just finished my last interview a couple weeks ago, my piece of advice would definitely be to RELAX. I was absolutely too wound up about interviews going into interview season. All of my interview days were great experiences, and I was never “pimped” or put into a pressure situation. During some of my interviews we didn’t even talk about medicine! Remember that the programs are as interested in you as you are in them, so just relax and have a good time!

    What’s one of your most embarrassing stories from your patient encounters?

    During one of my recent pediatrics rotations, we were rounding on an adorable three-year-old who happened to be watching Frozen at the time (similar to every other child in the hospital). I asked whether she wanted me to sing along with her. She looked at me completely seriously and said, “I’ve heard you sing. So, no.” My team and her parents were in hysterics and all I could do was stand there, defeated. I guess I’m not cut out for American Idol after all.

    What’s your favorite thing to eat?

    If I’m trying to eat more healthily, then it is probably teriyaki chicken and sushi. If I’m not trying, then absolutely whoopie pies.

    What’s the most exciting place you’ve ever traveled?

    After college I backpacked around Europe with two of my best friends from high school. We saw a lot of really cool places on that trip but my favorite was definitely Venice and the glassblowing island of Murano. I loved the winding streets of the city and how it felt like a maze. The centuries-old architecture is breathtaking and I loved watching the professional glassblowers and their amazing skills on the island. 

    If you weren’t a doctor, what would you do?

    If I wasn’t in medicine, I would take the opportunity to go teach English in other parts of the world. I love traveling and this time in my life would be the perfect opportunity to leave the country for a bit and explore countries I have not made it to yet! I’m thinking southern Africa, southeast Asia, or South America. I would love to go to Antarctica to meet some penguins but I doubt there is large demand for English teachers…

    What do you like to do outside of medicine?

    First and foremost spending time with my friends and family. They are the most important people in my life and it is nice to escape the wards every now and then to reset. On top of that I really enjoy reading low fantasy and sci-fi and attending our weekly movie nights and board game nights with my med school friends.

    Eli and his girlfriend Megan on top of Camelback Mountain in Arizona