From Los Angeles With Gratitude
From the time Carey Strom, MD ’80, was a child, he had more than an inkling that he would become a physician.
“I knew as a little boy I was going to be a doctor,” said Dr. Strom. “It chose me, I didn’t choose it.”
He distinctly remembers playing with Visible Man building kits and painting the organs inside a plastic clear model. The fascination was undeniable.
“I was 6, and I knew then what I was going to do,” said Dr. Strom.
Once completing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Iowa, Dr. Strom set off to achieve that goal, returning to his home state of Illinois to attend Chicago Medical School (CMS). He credits CMS for his basic medical training and revealing areas of medicine that interested him most.
“I’m very grateful for CMS for giving me the foundation to practice medicine and for giving me that opportunity,” said Dr. Strom. “It all builds on each other. I am very grateful for that.”
He gravitated toward procedure-oriented subspecialties and eventually settled on gastroenterology. Now a practicing clinician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with a private practice in Beverly Hills for more than 25 years, Dr. Strom’s commitment to the CMS student experience holds strong.
By focusing on scholarship and mentorship, Dr. Strom made RFU a personal philanthropic priority. Beginning with annual impact fund gifts, he grew his commitment of time and talents to include CMS as part of his estate plan. By establishing a charitable remainder unitrust and providing for CMS as a partial beneficiary, Dr. Strom’s generosity allows him to support and nurture the next generation of students with dreams of becoming physicians.
“I do believe that you can’t forget your roots,” said Dr. Strom. “You can’t forget people who did nice things for you. You have to show appreciation.”
Dr. Strom also has shared his experience with RFU as a past member of the Board of Trustees and former president of the CMS Alumni Association.
He recommends recent graduates to remember their aspirations and maintain a patient-centered approach in health care, no matter what tools and technology they may encounter. He underscores that a focus on the patient is what matters.
“Always be attentive to the patient. They have a heart, mind and feelings,” said Dr. Strom. “Just remember why you became a doctor.”
Amy Knutson Strack is director of advancement communications in the Office of Institutional Advancement.