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College of Medicine Alumni Magazine - Winter 2022 Matches Made in Medical School

In honor of Valentine’s Day, meet three couples whose bonds were forged or strengthened through their shared experience of attending their alma mater.

Asif Ilyas, MD, MCPHU ’01 and Erum Ilyas (Khan), MD, MCPHU ’01

Asif Ilyas, MD, MCPHU ’01
Erum Ilyas (Khan), MD, MCPHU ’01

We met during medical school orientation on the Queen Lane Campus. Our last names were close alphabetically, so we were in the same orientation groups. Then we were also on neighboring teams in the gross anatomy lab. It was both enjoyable and helpful to go through medical school together. It was a challenging but fun time and going through medical school together only enhanced our experience, and also improved our performance having each other to support and encourage one another.

Going through medical school and residency together, and now being in practice with a family together, has helped us build a strong foundation of love, support and appreciation for each other’s career and professional responsibilities. Moreover, meeting in medical school and getting married right before graduation has placed Drexel Med in an even more special place in our hearts and minds. We remain loyal and proud alumni of Drexel Med.

Ram Pathak, MD ’12 and Swetha N. Pathak, MD ’13

Ram A. Pathak, MD ’12
Swetha N. Pathak, MD ’13

We matriculated at Drexel University College of Arts and Sciences in 2005 as part of the BS/MD program, a seven-year combined undergraduate and medical school experience. The curriculum was rigorous at times given the traditional four-year undergraduate time condensed into three years. We feel blessed to have found the support of not only each other, but also a strong and deep community of friends who have become like family over the years. As we transitioned from undergraduate to medical school, we found that though the rigors or our studies intensified, we relied on each other that much more — to study, to de-stress, and to persevere.

We are so thankful for Drexel University and the College of Medicine because without the teachers, professors and clinical advisors we would not have been able to match in our dream specialties of urology and dermatology. I currently serve as an assistant professor at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and Swetha is in private practice. We have been blessed with three beautiful children, Aria (age 6), Asha (age 4) and Ava (age 2) and the never-ending love and support of our parents and extended family.

Barbara Schindler, MD, WMC ’70 and Alan M. Schindler, MD, MCP ’77, PhD

Barbara Schindler, MD, WMC ’70
Alan M. Schindler, MD, MCP ’77, PhD

We met on my 19th birthday — Alan was a senior at MIT and I was a premed freshman at Boston University when we began dating. Alan graduated from MIT and went on to Yale, where he got his master’s in physics, returning to Boston and Brandeis University to get his PhD in astrophysics while I completed undergrad. We got married two weeks before I matriculated at Woman’s Medical College. We had our first child, Rebecca, at the end of my third year of medical school. Alan soon decided I was having too much fun in medical school, and he wanted to apply. He took his MCATs the day I went into labor with our second child, Joshua.

Since we did medical school sequentially, I think Alan had the advantage of living through med school with me. I had his support, as well as that of fabulous classmates, going through med school, especially on the days when I came home threatening to quit. His response was “Schindlers don’t quit.” We got to spend hospital time together because I was on site most days and lived only three blocks from the hospital/med school. We had our third child, Benjamin, when I was a junior faculty member and he was a pediatric resident at MCP/St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.

I think the incredible, supportive relationships we formed at WMC/MCP made it possible to achieve all we have as a family and as physicians. Our daughter Rebecca declared once at the dinner table that she was fed up with all the doctor talk and that she would never marry someone in her own field. She is an archeologist married to another archeologist working in the same academic department and doing their field work together. I guess we were okay role models.

We are interested in meeting more alumni couples! If you’d like to share your story, please contact Adrienne Hovey at

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