Dr. Mahesh Allam had a flood of emotions as he watched his daughter, Shalini, rip open the envelope that revealed she’ll spend the next three years at Georgetown University Hospital getting her internal medicine residency training. That’s the same city where he did his training 30 years ago – and his daughter, a UCF medical student, will mark the third generation of physicians in the Allam family.
“I am very emotional right now,” Allam said. “Having her as a third-generation doctor in our family is something better than we’ve expected. We’ve been blessed, but it’s entirely her hard work.”
Allam, a pulmonologist and critical care specialist, has practiced in Orlando for 25 years since moving from his native Jamaica. His father was also a physician who practiced ophthalmology in Jamaica for many years before he died. Shalini was born in Washington, D.C., and will return there after she graduates from UCF in May.
She was so excited to open her match envelope that she accidentally ripped it in half.
“I had to line up the paper and was struggling to read it when my parents screamed ‘Yes! It’s Georgetown,’” she said.
“It’s a true honor to be able to start another generation of Dr. Allams in my family,” the younger Allam said. “I know my grandfather would be so proud to see how far our family has come and how much we’ve grown. I’ll remember this day for the rest of my life. I’m so excited that I got my number one choice it’s just been tears of joy.”
Other Central Florida physicians also watched their children become the next generation of health care providers. Dr. James Sanders, assistant professor of neurosurgery at the UCF medical school, was tearful as he watched his son, Jim, match into radiology at his undergraduate alma mater, Emory University. The younger Sanders will do his transitional year of training at the UCF-HCA partnership residency at Osceola Regional Medical Center.
“Every year I get nervous at Match for all the students, but this year I was a little more so,” he said. “I feel very blessed. It’s an incredible profession and I’m very proud of him.”
“As a child, he used to actually read MRI’s with me and that was really fun,” Sanders said.
The future Dr. Sanders studied astronomy and physics at Emory and loves visual sciences. He said radiology will allow him to use that love to help heal others.
“My father has been a very powerful role model in my life and he’s been supportive along the way,” he said. “I’m very happy to join the community and I really look forward to the next chapter of my life.”
As the daughter of a radiologist, Reem Abdalla grew up running through the halls of hospitals and tinkering with X-ray machines and charts. But though she grew up around physicians, nurses and patients, it was not until her undergraduate years that she fell in love with medicine. On Friday, she learned she will do her internal medicine residency at Orlando Health, where she once volunteered as a pre-med student.
“Aside from being very lucky to get the ins and outs of this career and the medical expertise from my father, I was also very lucky to have a family that understood how difficult the process was and who were able to provide the support I needed,” she said. “It’s truly a luxury and I’m very grateful to them.”
Her father, Dr. Adel Abdalla has been a radiologist in Orlando for the past 17 years since moving from Egypt with his family.
“This moment really took me back to the moment Reem was born and how much went into making this moment happen,” he said. “It’s like a mission complete.”