Jamil Jaber

Jamil Jaber hugs a classmate after getting word that he will be doing his residency with Army orthopedic surgeons. 

A Red Mountain High School graduate recently took a big step toward his dream of becoming a physician.

Jamil Jaber was among 67 fourth-year students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix who began a three-to-seven-year journey as physicians-in-training by participating in Match Day.

Match Day capped five months of interviews and travel for the students as they sought residencies in their chosen specialty. Nearly 19,000 students nationwide participate in Match Day, where hospitals around the country announce whom they have selected for residencies.

Jaber is a first-generation American and a first-generation college student who plans to become an orthopedic surgeon. He has received a scholarship with the US Army and will be training to become a surgeon with the Army after graduation.

The California native grew up in east Mesa and graduated from Red Mountain in 2005. After high school, he attended Maricopa Community College and Santa Monica College before finishing a bachelor’s degree in genetics, cell and developmental biology with a minor in biochemistry from Arizona State University.

“Growing up, I was an unlikely academic,” he said. “I worked in my family’s grocery business until shortly after high school.”

His interest in medical school stemmed from wanting a career that would allow him to have a lasting impact on others and challenge him to grow as an individual.

“It is a tremendous privilege to bear witness to human suffering,” he said. “It changes how you color the world, and keeps you acutely aware of what it means to be alive.”

Jaber knew before medical school that he wanted to pursue trauma surgery, and he settled on orthopedics because “I find the ability to affect immediate and lasting change for a patient extremely rewarding.”

“The technical demands and analytic rigor of orthopedic surgery really appealed to me as well, he said. “In many ways, orthopedics draws on engineering concepts, and I find the interplay of physics and medicine fascinating.”

He opted for U of A in Phoenix because “it was clear to me after visiting the campus that the staff was truly invested in student success and the culture of the college was student centered.”

Outside of school, he enjoyed keeping a small garden, spending time outdoors and taking trips to California to go sailing.

His word of advice to students thinking of medical school is “surround yourself with people who make you better, and have the courage to be your best.”

“Approach every day with a renewed commitment to your craft,” he added. “Try to learn from everyone you meet, and most importantly, stay humble.”

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