Monday, January 25, 2010

Volunteer Spotlight: Anupam Basu

Anupam “Nupe” Basu (left, pictured at Martini Madness) grew up in Naperville, Illinois, and has lived in the Chicago area since he was five years old. He received an undergraduate degree in biology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and he went to medical school at Loyola University Chicago. He now works as a radiologist at Cook County Hospital.

Radiologists read any kind of imaging study that comes in, from a gunshot wound to an athlete with knee pain. Imaging technologies like x-ray get to the bottom of medical issues. “It’s sort of like detective work,” says Nupe. “You take a patient’s history with their past experiences and a physical exam and you figure out what’s going on.” Nupe says he’s always been science oriented. Math and science are culturally valued in his family.

Rather than follow in his dad’s footsteps as an engineer, Nupe chose to study medicine because of its direct service element. “I’m a people person,” says Nupe. “I love chatting and talking to people.” Now he gets to work directly with clients. He even got to treat some Chicago Bears football players last year as part of a one-year fellowship at Evanston Hospital. He helped diagnose shoulder, knee, and hip injuries, among other things. Nupe is a huge sports fan. His favorite teams are the Cubs and U. of I. basketball and football.

In the coming years, Nupe plans to get a master’s degree in business administration. He sees change coming to his field and he wants to be ready for it. “Doctors are sort of taken advantage of,” he says. “They have very little exposure to the business side of things.” His decision could prove very wise given that health care is a multi billion-dollar industry.

No matter what, though, Nupe will stay in the Chicago area. “I love the city,” he says. “I’m like a walking ad for Chicago.” His favorite place is Burnham Harbor, right between Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium, because it offers a great view of the city. His favorite activity is the architectural boat tour on the Chicago River.

Nupe heard about Cabrini Connections through Writing Club Coordinator Shannyn Nellett. He works with first year student Cantrell Strauther on Thursday nights. “It’s been a very educational experience,” he says. “It’s cool to see the passion in the room.” Nupe has a deep appreciation for opportunities he’s been given in life and this is one way he likes to give back.

He is well suited for the role of mentor because he is the oldest of three children. “I’ve led my life trying to be a role model,” says Nupe, “and, in trying to set an example, I live better. … You can learn as much from being a mentor as a mentee.” That is a great lesson learned. Thanks for joining us, Nupe!

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