Published : Tuesday, December 5, 2017 | 1:13 PM
Anto Hindoyan ’00 returned to campus last week to speak with Upper School students for our second PolyConnect lunch of the 2017-18 school year. Hindoyan spoke about his education and career path that landed him as an assistant professor and interventional cardiologist at Keck Medicine of USC. Born in San Marino, Hindoyan has close ties to his community. After attending Poly, he went on to study chemistry at Occidental College and completed all of his medical training at USC. Hindoyan now spends part of his time at the clinic in Pasadena where he often runs into members of the Poly community.
Hindoyan reflected on his time at Poly with great appreciation. He recalled the diversity of opportunity available to him that helped to shape the work he does today. Whether it was playing violin or competing at the CIF championship in football, Hindoyan was able to take risks in learning new things. “I didn’t realize how great Poly was until I got to college,” he told students, “so you should enjoy all that you do now because you will use those things over and over again. There will always be that feeling of not doing well enough. In the moment, you feel a lot of pressure. But I wish that I could go back to all the nights spent commiserating with friends over integrals and math tests.”
Hindoyan cited various reasons for why he decided to go into interventional cardiology. One major reason being that with very small tools, you are able to find out extremely interesting things about the heart. He shared that the industry has evolved so much in just the last 10 years — issues that once required open heart surgery can now be fixed with a minimally invasive procedure. Hindoyan told students that “the heart is an engine and it drives all of us.”
Students presented Hindoyan with a wide range of questions, from the practice of medicine to advice for students hoping to pursue work in the medical field. In response to questions about how he deals with the risks of surgery, Hindoyan said, “there is always the risk of doing something wrong or things not going as you planned. As doctors, we have to rely on our skills which help to minimize those risks.” Another student asked about the percentage of people who will need open heart surgery during their lifetime to replace a valve. Hindoyan explained that younger people will often need surgery from some type of infection and older people will need surgery because of degeneration.
Hindoyan closed his talk by imparting some advice to Upper School students who hope to attend medical school: “Talk to people who have already done it or who have just gone through it. Younger doctors will have better advice because they remember the process more than older doctors. However, you need to take their advice with a grain of salt because everyone has unique experiences.”
Polytechnic School, 1030 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 396-6300 or visit www.polytechnic.org.