Dr. Luba Dumenco is a familiar face for first year students. She introduces each of the blocks with excessive highlights and pen illustrations, somehow manages to remember the names of all the students, and makes us feel like a superstar when she teaches histology or ultrasound. Unequivocally, she is at the center of our spiral learning pattern. Murmur had the chance to sit down with Dr. Dumenco and ask her a few questions about herself.
1. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? How would you describe your role at AMS to a stranger?
I’m one of the Assistant Deans for Medical Education at AMS. I primarily direct the first year medical school curriculum, and I work closely with AMS medical students, faculty, and staff on a daily basis. It’s an interesting role – one that is intellectually challenging, requires constant learning, and allows for close interactions with medical students, which I truly enjoy.
2. What would your perfect day look like?
A perfect day for me would be spending time with my entire family all at once doing something together – either somewhere warm (sailing?) or skiing!
3. What life-changing experiences put you on the path that led to what you’re doing today?
I’ve had a non-linear career path, and I find that each piece of my past – every one of my past experiences (pieces of the puzzle), as unrelated as they may have appeared to be at the time – all contribute now to what I do every day. My husband and I have five children, now ages 15-30. I think adapting to my exciting and continually changing home circumstances (three children under 5, followed by a 7 year gap, and two more children after that) allowed me to “think outside the box.”
Training in internal medicine and hematology and oncology, having spent time doing basic science cancer research, clinical coagulation work, and teaching at the medical school… were all very varied roles that I find helpful now in everything I do. I feel very fortunate to be at AMS, working with a great group of educators, and a wonderful student body.
4. What motivates you to do what you do?
I love working with students and thinking about how best to educate students. What motivates me is watching brilliant, eager first year medical students grow and develop into incredibly talented and inspiring physicians by the time they graduate. It is an incredible privilege to be part of this process.
5. What are you most proud of?
On an academic basis, I’m most proud of having helped to design the integrated pre-clerkship curriculum at AMS back in 2006-2010 that is still the foundation for how we organize our curriculum today. I’m proud of our AMS students – their accomplishments, drive, passion, and enthusiasm. I’m proud of my own children and am lucky to have them in my life.
6. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment time, energy, money, etc.)
Investing in my marriage is hands-down the best answer I can give to this.
7. What advice would you give to your 25-year old self?
Follow your passions – don’t worry about what the future will bring. Take advantage of opportunities. Trust that things will work out. Delight in the fact that the field of medicine offers so many options.
8. If you were a student, what is one opportunity you would take advantage of at AMS or in Providence?
I think I’d take advantage of our very rich elective opportunities – and would take advantage of the wonderful AMS community by developing deep friendships while engaging in challenging but interesting work!
Profile by Jeffrey Lam, MD’21 and Creative Content Editor