"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein
My name is Umar and I'm currently a medical student. Working as a part of Varsity Tutors is my first formal experience as a tutor but as the oldest of three siblings, I guess you can say that I started work at a young age :)
My passion for tutoring lies in the aforementioned Albert Einstein quote that you -- hopefully -- read. This addage really began to speak to me when I got to medical school, particularly because of a unique learning pathway my school offered its students. Enrolling in this pathway, known as Problem-Based Learning (PBL), allowed several students to digest the first two years of a standard medical school curriculum through a case-study, group-based approach. This novel learning pathway shifted the responsibility of education almost entirely to the students and signing up for this has proven to be one of the best decisions I've ever made. I always struggled with conventional educational approaches and was anxious about dealing with more of the same issues when I first started medical school. Being a PBL student, however, made me realize how easy it is to be one of the "smart kids". Learning was never meant to be a fixed, cookie-cutter process - rather, an interactive and fluid approach in communicating and understanding concepts is required for any student (and even tutor) to succeed. It is my passion to communicate and practice this idea with others so they can do this with themselves and their peers as well.
Just as my passion for tutoring ultimately stems from my struggles as a student, so do my strengths as a tutor. Being familiar with common hindrances to learning, such as intimidation by the subject matter, lack of organizational skills, and overwhelming self-doubt to name a few, make me best equipped to work with a wide variety of students. As mentioned earlier, my single greatest strength is my fluid approach to education - I try to establish an interactive environment where I can most easily and effectively pass information to a student, assess their strengths and weaknesses in the subject matter, and accommodate their likes and dislikes into a learning style that works for the individual. This approach in combination with my personality has resulted in my peers applauding my ability to explain seemingly difficult concepts into simpler terms throughout my medical school career.
Aside from tutoring, I enjoy staying active - whether that be riding a bike or playing a basketball, I love to be moving for at least a little bit every single day. I've recently picked up on reading again, especially autobiographies (I feel like reading an autobiography is like having a conversation with the author), and I love watching The Office till my eyes bleed. Aside from those specific hobbies, I'm open to doing pretty much anything since I love trying new things. I hope to one day work in addiction psychiatry and contribute to our understanding of mental health, substance abuse and addiction. Furthermore, I would love to open up a medical school one day and if I ever get the opportunity, I want to backpack across the world at some point.
I'm really excited to take this next step. Making learning accessible for everyone is one of my most fiery and newfound passions and I look forward to working with you!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Saint Bonaventure University - Bachelor of Science, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine - Doctor of Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1470
Biking, basketball and staying active, Hulu/Netflix/HBOGo, reading, exploring/being outdoors, going to happy hour, jamming out to music, and hanging out with my loved ones.