Kraft Fellow Dr. Ian Huntington and medical assistant Rosie Weekes
Ian Huntington pursued a few different interests on his way to medical school. And, when he eventually landed in community health, he was delighted to find himself in the company of like-minded peers who also brought a wealth of outside experiences to the care they provided for their patients.
“I think a lot of doctors who end up in this field are initially turned off by the medical school rat race,” he explained, adding: “They’re smart people, but they have other things going on as well.”
Dr. Huntington, who is originally from Seattle, took his first step into new territory when he decided to “come east” for college. He claims he initially got “terrible grades” at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia before eventually settling in to double major in anthropology and biology. His study abroad experience in Nepal, where he helped rural patients navigate the Katmandu health care system, prompted him to return for a year immediately upon graduation. And once his thoughts turned to medical school, the young Dr. Huntington (to be) made a move to Boston, which offered him an abundance of opportunities to delve into research while he was preparing his medical school applications.
His work on studies related to quality of care at academic hospitals and quality of life among adults with cystic fibrosis gave him good exposure to research practices and various medical specialties. So, by the time he enrolled at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, he knew that he wanted to focus on primary care and he was able to seek out mentors who could help him find or design experiences specifically in community medicine.
It wasn’t until he began his residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, however, that Dr. Huntington truly felt at home.