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    Scope: “Unconventional Paths”

    Stanford University School of Medicine 
    Special Events, Projects, Programs, or Campaigns 

    “Unconventional Paths” is a series that lives on the Stanford School of Medicine features channel, Scope. The series spotlights an array of researchers and faculty members whose journeys to medicine followed nontraditional routes — from a rural farm veterinarian in Wales who pivoted his career to pursue cardiovascular genetics in great apes, to a former Buddhist monk who shared her own story of addiction and how it fueled her to help others conquer substance abuse through a career as a physician. Stories told through “Unconventional Paths” highlight that there’s no single “right” way to become a doctor or scientist. It celebrates the diverse, winding, often challenging paths that members of the Stanford School of Medicine community have taken to get to where they are. 
    What was the most impactful part of your entry? 
    Often, careers in medicine — being a doctor or an academic scientist — can seem unreachable, or the people in those roles can seem intimidating. “Unconventional Paths” opens the door to our experts’ pasts, painting their stories with colors of humor, vulnerability, and a willingness to explore. This ongoing profile series features a diverse group of postdoctoral scholars, faculty, physicians, and others who have etched unique paths to their careers in science and medicine.  
    What challenge did you overcome? 
    In the day-to-day demands of press releases, research stories, and awards announcements, among other tasks, it can be challenging to find ways to identify and tell the stories that will resonate with readers on a personal level — the stories that elicit laughs and “wows” and inspire people to act boldly. It can also be challenging to shine a light on the people in various career stages without a news peg or published paper. “Unconventional Paths” made a storytelling pocket to address both of those needs. 
    Contact: Alison Peterson