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Nuwan Gunawardhana Oral History Interview

Nuwan Gunawardhana is a son of Sri Lankan immigrants in the United States that fostered a commitment to service, a love for family and a curiosity for making things better for the community both at their ancestral home in Sri Lanka and here in the United States. Observing the stark differences in opportunities allowed Nuwan to identify his core values around the impact of humble work, kind words, and loving action. This love for humanity and its encompassing intricacies led Nuwan to medical school after college where he found his love for microbiology (and all the microorganisms he could identify hurting his patients).

Nuwan was in the middle of his Infectious Disease Fellowship in Birmingham, Alabama, when he was thrust frontlines of not only an unknown disease but also into the trenches of the political climate that transformed the delivery of medicine, especially in the South. Nuwan shares the challenges, learnings and smiles he shared over his time serving patients from 2020 to now. In his free time, he loves to spoil his nephews, geek out over antique medical books, or travel the world. After spending a month in Lima, Peru to study Tropical Medicine, he will continue to share his passion as an Infectious Diseases Faculty of Medicine and Hospital Epidemiology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. You can follow his journey at @NGunawardhanaMD.

In this slideshow, you will see:
A photo of the camaraderie of coworkers brought positivity into the toughest shifts.

A photo of Nuwan's family. "Family is everything" and has always served as an anchor for Nuwan.

The future & Nuwan's favorite job: Uncle!

A photo of Nuwan volunteering. Global health & spreading smiles has always been a passion.

Nuwan loves to collect antique microbiology and anatomy books, seen here geeking out over a very special visit to a university medical collection.

Little moments of magic did happen in dark days. A card from his biggest fans: his nephews.


Duration: 00:27:53

Date: February 20, 2022
Subject(s): Nuwan Gunawardhana
Type: Oral History
Source: Archival Creators Fellowship Program
Creator: Roshni Shah
Contributor: Nuwan Gunawardhana
Location: Alabama

Collection: Roshni Shah Fellowship Project
Donor: Nuwan Gunawardhana
Item History: 2022-06-17 (created); 2022-07-12 (modified)

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