Neil Bhatia


Your name: Neil Bhatia

Your home town: Memphis, TN

Your major(s): Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology with a minor in Religion

Are you fluent in any language(s) other than English?


What are your career plans? Medical school hopefully! I just finished applying this summer and now I am waiting on interviews.

What is your favorite book or author and why? 

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanthi. I recently read this book this summer and it instantly became one of my favorites. It describes the journey of neurosurgery resident Paul Kalanthi, who is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer at the age of 36 as he is about to finally begin his medical career. I loved this book because it showed me an unfiltered and raw perspective of medicine. Dr. Kalanthi beautifully and emotionally describes his transition from becoming a physician to being a patient. How he maneuvers and experiences this duality of medicine was incredibly gripping and fascinating to me.

What is your favorite word? Synergy

Describe (in a short paragraph) a significant breakthrough in your development as a writer:  One of the most challenging aspects of writing for me is developing an introduction. Beginning a paper is always difficult and stalls my writing. However, last fall I took two humanities classes that greatly helped me handle this challenge. Both of these courses required me to keep weekly journals about what I was learning and how I would apply it. At first, beginning my journal entries was very difficult. My desire to make the introductions perfect created a mental roadblock that caused my writing to suffer. Eventually, as the weeks went by, I realized that the beauty of writing is in its malleability. I began pouring my thoughts onto the page in order to get the ball rolling. Although the introductions were rarely perfect, by dumping my ideas on to the page, I was able to recognize patterns and messages that I wanted to convey. I would then go back and craft my introduction to better suit those ideas.