Meet Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA Class Of 2021

Kinan Bachour

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College (MD/MBA Program)

International student from Syria learning how to combine medicine and business to improve health care locally and globally.”

Hometown: Safita, Syria and Southern California

Fun Fact About Yourself:  I’ve lived in the U.S. for around 8 years and I have never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before!

Undergraduate School and Major: UCLA, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Medical Student

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I led an initiative to teach Syrian volunteers to assist in emergency medical care during the Syrian Civil War, including stabilization, on-scene treatment, and ambulance transport of injured patients. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Diversity of thought! I’ve met many MBA students, and I am always humbled by the diverse experiences that they bring to the classroom. I am excited to learn from my peers and what they have to offer.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? The MD/MBA program at Dartmouth allows me to continue to pursue my medical education while gaining valuable leadership, problem-solving, and business skills. More specific to Tuck, I really appreciate Tuck’s emphasis on “learning by doing” and “leading across cultures.” I know that Tuck’s emphasis on direct, first-hand, experiential learning opportunities will strengthen my problem-solving skills and that the opportunities Tuck has for cross-cultural exposure will allow me to bridge healthcare on a global level.

What aspect of the school’s culture or values resonates most with you and why? Tuck’s “nice” admissions criteria resonated with me, and I definitely see it in my daily interactions with students, faculty, and staff. It is no surprise to me that Tuck’s alumni network is very strong. I am excited to experience first-hand what makes this school so memorable that I too will be a proud part of the alumni network. I feel Tuck is unique in cultivating a diverse yet supportive culture that will push each student to do some good in this world.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am looking forward to being part of the Center for Health Care. Interacting with students interested in healthcare who come from different backgrounds or industries will be an interesting collaboration. I am also looking forward to being part of the Soccer Club.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? I definitely am not a traditional MBA student. I am starting at Tuck in the middle of my MD degree. Because of this, I found it difficult to discuss my paid work background. While I do not have the “traditional” professional experience, I do look forward to contributing based on my personal experiences in my study group and in class.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have always been interested in the business side of things. During the clinical portion of my medical education, I realized that the MD degree I was pursuing was successfully providing me with foundational knowledge on how to treat patients, but that I did not yet have the skills to help solve systemic inefficiencies. I decided to pursue an MBA to help equip myself with tools to deliver patient-centered care in an economically conscious and resourceful way.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? None! Only the MD/MBA program at Tuck.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? When I started medical school in Hanover, I immediately found myself surrounded by a close-knit and supportive community at Dartmouth. I knew that I would be able to find this same great sense of community at Tuck.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I am originally from a very small village in Syria and my early upbringing continued in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. When the Arab uprisings erupted in 2011, I began to volunteer at my village’s hospital, where I directly witnessed the impact of the bloodiest civil war in Syria’s history. I realized that working within the sphere of medicine could allow me to serve as a positive change agent in the Middle East, and decided to pursue a career as a physician. I left the Middle East alone at the age of 17 to come to the United States for my education and to equip myself with the experiences, opportunities, and skills so that I could serve others negatively impacted by war, violence, and instability.

When I came to the U.S., I immersed myself in various health care experiences in the hopes of developing a better understanding of the American health system. While completing my education, I continued to return to Syria to volunteer and use whatever skills I had developed to serve. After starting my medical training, I began to reflect on the state of healthcare in the Middle East in comparison to what I saw in the U.S. From outdated practices to insufficient resources, I realized many had been denied the intrinsic human right of competent healthcare.

My dream of becoming a doctor first started in my village but quickly evolved into something bigger. I now aspire to be a leader in healthcare and to bring groundbreaking changes to regions in the world that are most in need of such change.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? The path in medicine can be very lengthy. In 10 years, I may have just finished training. However, in the long term, I hope to continue to treat patients while working on developing economically resourceful and long-lasting solutions to make health care efficient and accessible both domestically and abroad, in areas like Syria.

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