Of Music and MedicineNovember 2, 2015
What do you do with an impressive amount of vocal, piano and drum training, combined
with performance experience?
You go to medical school, of course.
While that answer might not seem obvious, it typifies the life of one Georgia Campus
– Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM) student. Nima Yazdanpanah,
a second-year osteopathic medical student, is proof that musical and medical propensities
are not mutually exclusive.
Yazdanpanah explained that his father encouraged him to practice music at a young
age. He began vocal training in Persian traditional music before transitioning to
classical music. He studied piano, taking classes in musical theory and composition,
and continued to train with multiple vocal instructors. Moving from Iran to Turkey
at 17 years old, he began and conducted a choral group and a band in the city of Kayseri,
leading him to perform at festivals and on a local TV channel. When he moved to the
United States, Yazdanpanah began singing in churches around metro Atlanta and in 2009,
he joined The Atlanta Opera Company as part of the chorus. He has participated in
concerts, festivals, classical recitals and has trained and taught lessons in tonbak
and daf, which are types of traditional Persian drums.
Yazdanpanah’s interest in a medical career also began when he was young, when one
of his close family members battled cancer for more than six years – “This triggered
my interest in medicine and I've worked towards this goal since that difficult time,”
he said. While the student doctor would also like to pursue performing, he realizes
that practicing medicine will limit those options. Nevertheless, he aspires to continue
a singing career once he completes his medical training.
Most recently, Yazdanpanah combined his passions for music and medicine to perform
at GA-PCOM’s White Coat Ceremonies, held at the Infinite Energy Center on October
16. During these two programs, first year students from the College’s osteopathic
medicine and pharmacy programs received white coats, considered by many to be a rite
of passage on the journey toward a healthcare career. “When I was asked to perform
for the White Coat Ceremonies, I felt very excited, because the day I received my
own white coat was one of the most important days in my life,” Yazdanpanah said, “I
was honored to be a part of such a pivotal day amongst my colleagues and I hoped that
my performance impacted them in some way.”
Yazdanpanah, in fact, sees many connections between music and his experiences in medical
school. Music is healing and a source of comfort, he noted. “It can treat pain, have
calming effects and reduce stress… Furthermore, some studies have even shown that
certain musical vibrations can affect human cells on a molecular level.” For Yazdanpanah,
music and singing have been a source of inspiration and provided a way for him to
meditate throughout his life, even helping his productivity in his other studies.
“Music provides a balance between my passion for medicine and my spiritual connection.”
About PCOM Georgia
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated
to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied
history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and
physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science,
and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM
Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service
to the wider community. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center,
an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment.
For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500.
For more information, contact:
Senior Public Relations Manager
Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell:
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