Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) medical sciences student Behafarin Arbasi finished high school in three years, simultaneously volunteering in her local emergency room. She applied for a US visa to continue her education and while waiting, spent one year in Turkey working odd jobs, determined to practice medicine.
“When I look back, I’m still surprised I did all that by myself, but I’ve always been independent and when I set my mind on something, I’ll do anything to get it,” she said. “My goal has always been medicine. I am passionate and dedicated and nothing will stop me.” Furthering her personal mantra, she quotes soccer legend Pele on her social media page — “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”
Behafarin admits there were some rough patches during her start in the US but said she became invigorated once she settled in Atlanta, started attending Georgia State University and began meeting RUSM grads during her undergrad years as a research assistant. “Everyone advocated for Ross University, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to change countries again.”
Medical Research Value
Before enrolling at RUSM, Behafarin earned a master’s of Intradisciplinary Studies in Biomedical Sciences and Enterprise from Georgia State’s Institute for Biomedical Sciences in which she designed a biomedical device to assist diabetics who require daily insulin shots. She also worked at Emory University as a research specialist, starting one week before COVID-19. “It was exciting. I worked with the CDC every day during lockdown and got to help with vaccine research,” the start of her lifelong goal to continue medical research.
The young chess protégé and fine arts connoisseur now lives in Barbados and advocates for everyone to get vaccinated. “I don’t understand why people are hesitant. This is to keep us healthy and allow us to hang out and study with our peers and go out to dinner.” The second-semester student who appreciates her in-person Gross Anatomy lab, assures others, “This is such a better environment for learning. Going through first semester virtually was hard for me because I wanted to be on campus and meet the professors. No one ever called my name to answer a question like they do now. Teachers and students want you to succeed and they are willing to help in any way they can. We all need to experience that.”
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