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Once a Slicer, Always a Slicer: Vinay Prasad Class of 2001

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Being a Slicer isn’t just about attending La Porte High School. It can mean a million different things to a million different people. Most students who walk out of LPHS leave with an overflowing amount of pride for the school, community, and all of the people who have impacted their lives in some way.

One student who has been a Slicer Stand out since day one is doing incredible work, but instead of being in Indiana, he’s excelling in Oregon. Vinay Prasad, who graduated in 2001 and once walked the LPHS halls, is a hematologist-oncologist and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University.

Prasad has always been extremely interested in science and originally went into college with a science major. The more he started learning about medicine and how he could potentially be a doctor, he changed his major and dove right into medical school.

He is a graduate of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Northwestern University in Chicago, and he also completed his undergraduate at Michigan State University.

Prasad was never someone who just squeaked by. He graduated with outstanding grades and even received a couple awards along the way.

Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine awarded Prasad the Chairman’s Award in Internal Medicine. He also earned the Gerald Grumet award from Northwestern University in Chicago for best resident teacher.

There are not many things that Prasad cannot do. He’s a doctor, a teacher, and he is even an author.

Prasad has spent time with Dr. Adam Cifu, a professor at the University of Chicago, and they have been doing an overwhelming amount of work on reversals, which is a commonly-accepted practice that is not beneficial or harmful to patients.

“It was his idea to say, ‘look, what we’re doing is a big project, and it doesn’t fit nicely in a series of articles. It’s better at book length, so that’s what we ought to do,’” Prasad said.

The book Prasad and Cifu wrote is Ending Medical Reversal, and they both couldn’t possibly be more proud to have it published.

“I’m most proud of some of the specific research we’ve done in medicine, which I think challenges some of the things that I think many people take for granted. I’m particularly proud of the book we wrote, Ending Medical Reversal,” Prasad said.

Prasad is already working on another book called Malignant: How Bad Policy and Bad Evidence Work Against Cancer Patients. This book will be mainly about cancer treatment.

He is even working on a podcast, Plenary Session, which is in the iTunes Store and already has heaps of followers.

Prasad has had an outstanding amount of success, but it all wouldn’t have been possible without the push from all of the incredible educators at LPHS.

“I have a lot of pride for having gone to La Porte High School and for having been a Slicer,” Prasad said. “It’s a very good school that gives you a great education. It gives you people who really care about you and want you to do well and encourage you.”

Prasad was involved in a few extracurricular activities at La Porte.  He was a member of the Quiz Bowl team and Academic Decathlon. He played tennis for a short period of time. Prasad was even in one school play, and he wishes to have done a little more in the drama department; some of the most memorable moments to Prasad were the social interactions with his friends.

“I still remember the many times that I had lunch with some of my good friends, or the times we went somewhere and did something after school. Those are the memories that really stick with you the most,” Prasad said.

Besides the interactions with all of Prasad’s friends, he feels like La Porte High School gave him the support and motivation he needed to become the successful doctor, professor, and author that he is today.

“They [LPHS teachers] gave me so much affirmation, really encouraging me to stick with it, helping me take the next step and go to college and then someday onto medical school or some other professional degree,” Prasad said. “The teachers cared a great deal about the students. I know that it might be frustrating for teachers because there are always some people in the class who are disinterested, but most of the students, I think, really are interested.”

La Porte High School taught Prasad that students learn an immense amount of work in class, but learning outside of the class is important, too.

“As you get older, you realize that you learn just as much outside of your classwork as you do in class. I would encourage people to stick with it if they want to be a doctor, lawyer, or any profession someday,” Prasad said.

Prasad developed the work ethic, determination, and the study habits that helped shaped him into the reliable, intelligent, and trusting doctor he is today.

“You have to be disciplined and focus on studying because you need good grades to get your foot in the door. Try to develop some good habits: Do your studying after work, go to sleep early, and wake up early. Those habits will help you in the long run.” Prasad said.

Prasad knows that he wouldn’t be as successful now if it wasn’t for the constant push and motivation from all of the teachers.

He has an overwhelming sense of pride for having attended LPHS, and he truly does believe the saying, “Once a Slicer, Always a Slicer.”

A career as successful as Dr. Prasad’s does not happen overnight. He will forever be a shining light at LPHS.

“Take it slow, stick with it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you go slow, you’re guaranteed to get there,” Prasad said.

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