Erica Nakajima ’04

Oncologist
Thanks to George School faculty, Erica became comfortable stepping outside of her comfort zone.

How have your relationships with George School faculty members impacted your life?

The support and mentorship I received from the faculty gave me courage to step out of my comfort zone in numerous ways, whether testing my skills in the woodshop or speaking up in meeting for worship. This willingness to try the unfamiliar has been essential in my career as I have transitioned between institutions and as medical training has required me to expand my knowledge and skill sets on a daily basis.

Several of my teachers at GS inspired a love of reading and writing poetry in me, and despite the demands of residency, I’ve kept writing. I’ve found science and medicine to be areas rich in inspiration. A poem about my experience in anatomy lab during medical school, ‘Heart in Hand,’ was just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

How did the IB Program impact you?

The IB curriculum aided me by expanding my awareness of different cultures, peoples, and beliefs. It was an incredibly rich education.

More about Erica:

Erica completed her medical residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and recently began an oncology fellowship at Johns Hopkins this past summer. Going forward, she plans to investigate the use of medical imaging to better characterize cancers and their response to therapies.