Celebrating 50 years of medicine at Brown, by honoring the past and embracing the future

Jennifer E. Engen

Hines, a veteran of the U.S. Army Medical Corps who earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown in 1983 and an M.D. from the Warren Alpert Medical School in 1986, delivered the night’s keynote. Now the lead gynecologic oncologist with the WellStar Health System in Atlanta, Hines was a student leader at Brown (with the Third World Center and the Brown Center for Students of Color in particular), served as the founding chair of the medical school’s Advancing Diversity Committee and is a current member of the Brown Corporation.

In keeping with the past/present/future theme of the evening, Hines acknowledged his own past as a medical student and how it intersected with the history of the medical school in a unique presentation reminiscent of a slideshow of family photos — in fact, it started with photos of Hines as an elementary school student, and was organized into three sections: before Hines attended Brown (1764-1979), while he attended Brown (1979-1986) and then after he graduated (1986-2022). There were photos of mentors including Dr. Pierre Galletti, a Brown leader who was instrumental in founding the medical school; Levi Adams, vice president of external affairs for biology and medicine; Dr. Jack Elias, the school’s seventh dean of medicine; as well as Hines’ wife, Dr. Sivan Hines (who also earned her M.D. from Brown in 1986); his medical school classmates; and his classmates’ children — one of whom will graduate from Brown’s medical school next month. 

Hines’ cheerful reminiscing was meant to encourage reflection upon what it means to be a graduate of the school, how alumni can live its values in their professional and private lives, and how to impart them upon future generations of medical professionals.

“Our mission is what we take away when we leave the medical school here —  it’s a set of core values,” Hines said. “We learn to lead. We bridge, we broaden, we innovate, we become accountable. We practice humility, we become relational and transformational. We create that value-add that so many of us talk about, we learn to build trust, to display ambitious vision. And these are skills that I have brought to me in my practice in the military, as a gynecologic oncologist, as a member of the Corporation, but most importantly as a citizen.”

Continued contributions to human health and patient care

Fourth-year medical school student Gisel Bello, who served as master of ceremonies for the evening, also shared memories of her medical school experience. Donning the same colorful scarf she’d worn when she interviewed at the Warren Alpert Medical School in 2017 — chosen to “convey all the colorful aspects of my personality and to remind myself how far I had come,” she said — Bello talked about what initially drew her to Brown. In addition to the well-rounded students she met who had interesting, diverse experiences before and during medical school, Bello was struck by something she couldn’t quite identify at the time, but now recognizes as a driving sense of social responsibility. 

“As medical students at Brown, we are leaders devoted to improving the health and wellness of everyone,” Bello said. “That means that sometimes we have to challenge the status quo. That means that when we find inequity in the systems we are a part of, we challenge and hold to account the institutions responsible for those systems. To be a medical student at Brown means to expect more from our institutions, society and the world at large with the intention of leaving it better than we found it.” 


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