Graduating from medical school is no small feat, and neither is being a mother. Alexandra Friedman, who excelled at both, just graduated from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM). Her husband, Yosef, and her 10 young children celebrated her accomplishments by her side.
Not only did Alexandra graduate, she holds the highest GPA in her class of 135.
“Alexandra Friedman, DO, exemplifies all of the important qualities of an osteopathic physician, including medical knowledge, empathy and superb clinical skills. Her ability to succeed in medical school, while raising a large family and working at night, is nothing short of amazing,” said Dr. Kenneth Steier, DO, executive dean of Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine.
After graduating pre-med from the College of William & Mary, Alexandra married and started a family before embarking on a career. Many years and seven children later, she set her sights on becoming a doctor.
While she first considered careers less demanding, Alexandra discovered her passion would be in helping people through medicine.
Why Medicine was her Professional Calling
“Medicine felt like a professional calling,” she said. “I wanted to work in a way that could make the world a better place and I always enjoyed and excelled at biological sciences, so I wanted to use my talents to help others through medicine. My husband and I felt that practicing medicine would be worth the inevitable sacrifices.”
Throughout her six years as a student at TouroCOM, Alexandra worked nights at Montefiore Nyack Hospital so she could spend time with her children during the day, three of whom were born while she was in medical school.
Her hard work and dedication paid off. In her first year, she was awarded the $10,000 2017 Judith Wible, M.D., Scholarship for Visionary Women in Medicine. Additionally, throughout her academic career at Touro she has received the TouroCOM Academic Excellence Top Student Awards for: histology, physiology, neuroanatomy, and medical ethics; the Emily Taylor Outstanding Woman Student in Leadership Award; First Place for her presentation in neuroscience at the Student Research Forum; the Dr. William H. Bailey Memorial Award for First Place Pathology Honor Society Presentation; and First Place for Presentation in Molecular and Cell Biology at the Student Research Forum.
His and Hers Awards
At commencement, Alexandra received the Dean’s Award, presented to the graduating student with the highest academic standing, in recognition of personal achievement and success in didactic studies and on clinical rotations. Additionally, her husband Yosef, who has a degree in special education and works with special needs adults, was awarded The Donna Jones Moritsugu Memorial Award. This award is presented to a spouse of a graduating student for his or her support.
“It has been amazing to watch Alexandra’s perseverance and hard work, which has led to her professional success. She was an incredibly dedicated student while still prioritizing the needs of her family,” said Yosef. “She is an amazing wife, mother, and physician. She’s very admirable and I’m lucky to have her in my life.”
Alexandra views her unique family situation as a strength rather than a weakness. Her family is her greatest support system, and she believes her dedication is teaching the children valuable life lessons.
“Touro College was created to enrich the Jewish tradition of tolerance and dignity. Students like Alexandra never have to choose between their religious lifestyle and pursuing education at the highest levels. We are so proud of the achievements of Alexandra and the TouroCOM class of 2021 and our commitment to serve and support members of all communities,” said Rabbi Moshe Krupka, Touro Executive Vice President.
While at Touro and Montefiore, Alexandra completed rotations in neonatal intensive care, nephrology, family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine, OB/Gyn, and psychiatry. Her next step will be a residency in pediatrics.
In the future Alexandra hopes to open an integrative pediatrics practice and help develop culturally sensitive programs for victims of sexual abuse.
To learn more about Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine visit www.tourocom.touro.edu.