First Person

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Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

What was your motivation for pursuing a degree in Jewish studies?

To complete my chaplaincy certification.

dr. annekathryn goodman tends to patient during recent deployment to philippinesHow has your Jewish studies training helped you in your professional life?

By increasing my education and insights about the world, history, philosophy and theology.

In your personal life?

See the answer above. Being a better person makes me a better doctor.

Whom or what do you draw inspiration from?

My patients.

Describe the Jewish studies program in three words.

Deep, reflective, mind-expanding.

Do you have a favorite class or professor?

I've enjoyed so many classes, among them Bible and Nature, Learning Ethics Through Midrash Aggadah, and Maimonides, Spinoza and Mendelssohn.

What is it like to take an online degree program, and how may that have differed from your expectations?

It has been a wonderful experience. Given that I work during the day, I could not continue my learning without the availability of online courses.

To whom would you recommend this program?

Anyone with a thirst for learning. 

What advice would you offer students just starting out in the Jewish studies program?

Don't rush, enjoy and read what you can.

Photo caption, above: Dr. Annekathryn Goodman tends to a patient in the Philippines, where she was deployed for humanitarian medical work after Typhoon Haiyan. Photo by Jon Brack.