Samir Gala (MS/Biomed '16)
Pursuing your life’s purpose often has many twists and turns. For Samir Gala, he knew
early on that he would follow a direct path toward a career in health care.
“In a way, my life has been filled with moments that have led me to believe that I
was always meant to become a physician,” explained Samir, whose personal experiences
have empowered him to work toward making a difference in healthcare, “I had my first
medical emergency when I was a newborn, and had to be revived after cardiac arrest
following a severe illness during a visit to India. I also lost my aunt and grandfather
to cancer, and my father was diagnosed with a rare and poorly understood form of leukemia.”
Reared in Douglasville, Georgia, Samir graduated from Douglas County High School and
then earned four separate Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology, Biology, Microbiology
and Cellular Biology, all from the University of Georgia. He recently earned a Master
of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences as a member of GA-PCOM’s Class of 2016.
“I was drawn to the Biomedical Sciences program at GA-PCOM after seeing that its course
curriculum was challenging and incorporated elements that I hadn’t yet touched upon
during my time as an undergraduate student,” Samir said. Wanting to someday specialize
in infectious disease, he was particularly interested in the Medical Microbiology
and Medical Immunology courses offered by the College.
Samir became an active part of the student body serving as President of the Graduate
Student Council. He created an online job board for Biomedical Sciences students to
help them secure clinical and research opportunities during and after their time at
GA-PCOM. Before graduation, Samir was honored with the 2016 Biomedical Sciences Leadership
Some of his favorite and most inspiring memories while a student at GA-PCOM include
having the chance to engage in a one-on-one discussion with Dr. Antonia Novello, former
Surgeon General of the United States, on health disparities, public policy and leadership,
as well as being selected to attend the Climate Reality Leadership Corps event in
Miami, Florida, hosted by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
While earning his master’s degree, Samir also worked as an intern at the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency and subsequently at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
where he attended White House conference calls about the Zika virus, opioid and gun
Since graduating, Samir has accepted a position within the Office of the Regional
Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “I’ll be applying to medical
schools and public health programs for the first time as well,” he adds, “and I have
no doubt that my degree and the experiences I’ve had here will prove instrumental
to my development as a multifaceted physician.”
One of Samir’s highest aspirations is to serve as the Surgeon General of the United
States and advocate for vulnerable populations, engage in public health efforts around
the globe, enhance access and resources to clinical research and medical education,
and develop policies that strengthen current and future health practitioners’ ability
to heal. He believes that an unwavering commitment to education, research, public
health and patient advocacy are essential to the success of modern medicine.