Alan Mandel (’79) wanted to go to Dartmouth Medical School (now the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth) and he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. The second time he applied, an admissions office interviewer asked what he would do if not accepted. “You’ll see my application again,” he replied.
Mandel’s persistence paid off. After being waitlisted he was accepted at the last moment and began his journey toward becoming a physician—a dream he’d held since childhood. As an expression of his gratitude and a desire to help future students, Mandel recently established a planned gift to endow a scholarship at the Geisel School of Medicine.
“Studying at Dartmouth was like coming home,” says Mandel, who was born and raised in New Hampshire. He was in graduate school for experimental pathology at the University of California, San Diego, when he got the call telling him he was accepted. “Classes were small, and instructors made time to answer questions and discuss issues. Every time I rotated through a specialty, the faculty were so enthusiastic that I was sure I wanted to pursue that particular field of medicine.”
Mandel, who is now an anesthesiologist in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., funded his own medical education with an Army scholarship and loans. After graduation, he did his medical internship in the Army and served as a flight surgeon before choosing anesthesiology. He then headed to Beth Israel Hospital (now Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) in Boston to complete his training.
A lot has changed at the Medical School since the late 1970s, but small classes, enthusiastic faculty, and students passionate about becoming physicians are as much a part of its character as ever.
“Now it’s my turn to give the next generation the opportunity that I had,” says Mandel, “a great beginning to a lifetime of practicing medicine.”