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School of Medicine class speaker Kiran Mullur focused on compassionate care

By Megan Bard

UMass Medical School Communications

May 28, 2019
Kiran Mullur

Family and community are important to Kiran Mullur and when he graduates from the School of Medicine at the 46th Commencement of UMass Medical School on Sunday, June 2, his sister, Jyotsna Mullur, MD, will be standing by his side.

“None of what I have accomplished was done on my own,” said Kiran Mullur, who was born and raised in the Worcester area, the son of Indian immigrants, Bala and Sheela Mullur. “Every step of the way I’ve had someone supporting me: my parents and sister, the UMass community, my mentors, this incredible class. Throughout medical school and its challenges, I grew to rely on them. I’m so fortunate that I was able to thrive in this community and I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Jyotsna Mullur, a resident physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a 2016 graduate of the SOM at UMMS, will hood her brother at the ceremony, after he delivers the SOM class of address.

Kiran Mullur credits Kimberly Bombaci, MD, assistant professor of family medicine & community health, and William A. Tosches, MD, associate professor of neurology, for showing him what it means to be a physician. He said they not only taught him the importance of showing kindness and respect to patients, but the impact of taking the time to learn more about them as people rather than simply a clinical diagnosis or problem.

“Kiran embodies the vision of an ideal UMass Medical School student,” Dr. Bombaci said. “He is mission driven and always keeps the patient’s care a priority. He is compassionate but also has the skill to know when and how to use humor. He is a talented teacher and brings his joy and enthusiasm of medicine to other students. After watching Kiran interact with patients, it was clear he thrived in creating relationships and was destined for primary care.”

The self-described extrovert and science and math geek said it wasn’t until his junior year at UMass Amherst that he decided to pursue medicine.

“I thrive when I’m around people; I love making connections and forming relationships. I thought it would be great to find something where I could have those connections and use the critical and analytical thinking skills I enjoy. The more I thought about it, the more medicine became an obvious choice,” he said.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, he spent a year refereeing youth and adult soccer games in the local community.

“If you talk about what drove me to become a future family medicine doctor, what really solidified that was experience being a soccer referee. I really enjoyed being there with people, watching the kids improve and grow, and getting to know them and their families,” he said. “The personal touch that you can give to people goes such a long way. At the end of the day, I trust that everyone in a hospital setting has some degree of clinical competency, but what patients truly value and perceive as good care is when their physician comes to the bedside, spends time listening to them, and treats them like a human being. It’s the small things. This is what I value and what I saw firsthand in family medicine.”

Next month, he will relocate to Winston-Salem, N.C., where he’ll begin his family medicine residency at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.