An unexpected reunion

Sometimes alumni are surprised at who they see when they go to University of Chicago Medical & Biological Sciences Alumni Association (MBSAA) events, like Andrae Vandross, MD’09, who unexpectedly reunited with one of his favorite faculty members, Patricia Kurtz, MD’77.

Dr. Vandross met Dr. Kurtz in his third year at the Pritzker School of Medicine, when she served as his preceptor in a small group session for his clinical-year outside of the hospital. “Dr. Kurtz showed me how to incorporate the non-clinical strengths of my personality into medicine,” Dr. Vandross recalls.

“He is wise beyond his years and posesses an ‘old soul’. He is a critical thinker who shows respect and empathy for all. He always takes the time to connect with patients and trainees. He is an excellent teacher,” Dr. Kurtz said of her former student.

On March 2, 2019, the MBSAA hosted an event for Los Angeles alumni that included lunch and tickets to the Chicago Blackhawks versus the LA Kings game. Both Kurtz and Vandross had no idea that the other would attend when they registered.

“I had no expectation that I would meet anyone I knew personally, much less someone I knew well. It was a delightful surprise. I had not seen Andre for 10 years and it seemed like I had just seen him the previous week,” Dr. Kurtz recalled.

Since reconnecting at the LA event, both have kept in touch, even planning a reunion with another local University of Chicago connection.

MBSAA regional events aim to strengthen the connection alumni have to the University and to foster engagement among the local BSD and Pritzker community in their area. Last year, 567 medical and biological sciences alumni attended UChicago and MBSAA events around the country.

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