Student spotlight - Jagar Jasem, M.D.

September 30, 2011

Education is one of the four pillars of UNMC's mission and our students are the lifeblood of that aspect of campus life.

In UNMC Today's Student Spotlight, we get to know some of these students, who are training to become tomorrow's health care professionals.

Today we meet Jagar Jasem, M.D., a Fulbright scholar from Iraq who studies epidemiology in the College of Public Health.

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Jagar Jasem, M.D.
  • Name: Jagar Jasem, M.D.
  • Hometown: Duhok, Kurdistan region, Iraq
  • Year/program: Masters of Public Health-Class of 2012

What is your best memory from your time at UNMC?

When I first arrived, after more than 15 hours of flight, I was held for 18 hours for tough security checks at the airport. I got the impression that I was not wanted in this country. The first day of class, I sat in the back and was hesitant to introduce myself. I wasn't sure how my colleagues would react to someone from a country that's at war with the U.S., although I am from the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan that has been functionally separate from Saddam's regimes since 1991. But after a few days at UNMC, I realized most people here welcome me and after a few weeks, I had made some good friends.

Our four brand values are leadership, commitment to excellence, working together and being a trusted resource. Pick one and tell us a time you witnessed it embodied at UNMC.

I volunteer in a survey project about sexually-transmitted diseases (STD) in north Omaha. It is inspiring to work with other volunteers from diverse backgrounds (U.S., Iraq, Indonesia, Uzbakestan, Nigeria and India) and to help understand the burden and risk factors of STDs among the young, mostly asymptomatic, population in north Omaha.

List three things people may not know about you.

  • I am a physician and so is my father, brother and three cousins. My sister started medical college this year.
  • I published two books and many articles in the Arabic language (both original and translated) about science, politics and literature.
  • I spend at least 16 to 18 hours a day at the Sorrell Center.