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Through thick and thin, VCU roommates continue their journey together to become anesthesiologists

As they embark on their residency programs, Panth Doshi and Faizaan Khan know they have each other’s backs.

Two men in button down shirts stand with a residency program acceptance letter together Panth Doshi and Faizaan Khan at Match Day 2024, where they both matched into the VCU School of Medicine's anesthesiology residency program. (Photo by Arda Athman, VCU School of Medicine)

By Grace McOmber

Roommates and Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine graduates Panth Doshi, M.D., and Faizaan Khan, M.D., have been by each other's side since beginning medical school, and soon they will begin their anesthesiology training together.

Doshi and Khan met in their freshman dormitory hallway at VCU and shared many classes as biomedical engineering majors. Doshi says they would say hello in passing, but it wasn’t until Doshi’s original housing plans for medical school fell through that sparked the idea of living with Khan.

“It worked out really well,” Doshi said. “Everything just kind of fell into place.”

The living arrangement proved to be successful. Khan and Doshi have lived together while working their way through the School of Medicine’s Competency-Based Graduation program, and this summer they’ll begin training in the same residency program.

The Competency-Based Graduation (CBG) program is an accelerated track in which medical students graduate in three years, instead of the standard four. Students are pre-enrolled during the first half of their second year of medical school and are accepted into the program when they pass Step 1 of the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) later that year. Accepted students begin their rotations and take other licensing exams earlier than traditional students.

If they successfully remain on track, the students are ranked to match into a VCU specialty training program for their residencies, typically at VCU Medical Center – the only academic medical center in the region – and other VCU Health locations.

Doshi and Khan both say they had an early interest in anesthesiology. For Khan, the procedural aspect of anesthesiology matched his biomedical engineering background.

“I knew I had to do something hands on, and it had to have a hard science base,” Khan said.

Doshi says he found anesthesiology during his high school’s capstone mentorship program. Being paired with an anesthesiologist sparked a passion for medicine, and he was drawn to the specialty because of its procedural nature, as well as the blend of pathophysiology and pharmacology.

“I tried to keep my options open when I came to medical school, but I kept coming back to anesthesiology,” Doshi said. “It really has a blend of what I wanted, so I decided on it pretty early on.”

After confirming their interest in the specialty, both students say it made sense to pursue the CBG program. Khan was motivated by the temporal benefits of attending three years of medical school versus the typical four, and for Doshi, matching into VCU for residency meant staying near his family.

Doshi and Khan say their friendship only grew during their time in the CBG program. The roommates shared many classes, and having each other's backs over the years gave them both the confidence and motivation to excel in a demanding program.

“We pushed each other to be better during medical school," Khan said. "And we will continue to do so during residency.”

As resident training begins in the summer, Doshi and Khan say they are excited to apply the skills they learned during their time in medical school. They also predicted that their bond will only grow stronger as time goes on.

"Residency is challenging, so having someone who understands my work and personal lives is very helpful," Doshi said.