By the end of his corps experience, Ira Leeds had a very different perspective on student learning. Addressing the different challenges his students faced meant he had to adapt his plans to meet each one where they were. Not only did teaching develop skills that are critical to his medical career, Ira credits TFA for showing him there are historic injustices and social obstacles facing many communities, and disparities in education, as well as in health care, contribute to persistent poverty. Ira will continue to serve high-need communities as a colorectal surgeon focused on underserved populations.
Dr. Ira Leeds
Q & A
It showed me how disparities in healthcare are tied to educational outcomes, and colored what kind of residency program and what kind of clinical training I wanted. My wife and I feel strongly that we want to work in a service-oriented healthcare model in underserved communities.
I don’t think I’d have the same mindset or perspective on the world without my TFA experience. I also talk more, which helps me communicate with patients about their surgical procedures. And I learned how to adapt to change and adversity with grace.
By the end of my senior year, I felt burned out on pre-med work, and lost track of my motivations for going into healthcare. I knew I wanted to pursue meaningful work and have an impact on people’s lives, and teaching allowed me to re-focus my motivation and reconnect with my values.