Photo of Alum Maanas Tripathi with city scape in background

Maanas Tripathi HST’ 13 (photo courtesy of Tripathi)

What are the unexpected benefits of your degree and what value do you see in it?

I think that during my interviews for medical school and residency, my degree helped me stand out among the competition. Multiple interviewers made note of it and asked me about it. I had not prepared responses to that question the first few times, but I was able to talk about my history degree extemporaneously, and I believe it added flair to my application.

What career have you pursued?

I am an Internal Medicine resident at Las Palmas Del Sol medical center in El Paso, TX. I went to medical school at the University of Miami. After my residency, I will either work as a hospitalist and practice general internal medicine, or I will go into a fellowship and subspecialize (eg: in critical care, rheumatology, nephrology, and so on).

How has your degree in History impacted you?

I think that my history degree taught me to find information, prepare arguments, and present them cogently and efficiently. I also think it enriched my college experience considerably. A pre-med course load involves many biology and chemistry classes in lecture halls, while a history major complements that with courses involving seminars and discussion with your peers and professor, which made college much more exciting and variegated.

I think that my history degree helped me become a happier, more inquisitive, and well-rounded person.

What are the most important aspects of the degree or what skills did you gain from obtaining the degree?

My history degree helped me develop a facility with research, writing, and speaking, skills that are important in any career you go into, but especially in medicine. On my residency and medical school interviews, I emphasized that we developed these skills through numerous seminars and papers, which complemented my scientific premedical education.

How has your degree help you see/interpret the world?

I think that now, when I read nonfiction, I have a much more robust internal dialogue with the work in question. When I read something, I'm considering how an author shapes an argument, what is implied, what is omitted, and so on. We live in contentious times, and I would say that my history degree has been invaluable in making me an educated citizen and consumer of knowledge.

What would you advise other students who might be considering a major in History?

I would tell them that if they enjoy forming and presenting arguments and learning about the past, then a history degree will make their college experience immeasurably more interesting. I would tell them to make the most of their coursework in history, enjoy themselves, and develop skills that will serve them well in the future, personally and professionally. Finally, I would tell them that along with their history major, there is ample time during college for specific pre-professional preparation in whatever field they choose.