Lampis Anagnostopoulos, MD, with a patient at Northwest Heart Specialists.
Doctor's Gift Honors Friend and Classmate
Born and raised more than 5,000 miles apart, Pritzker School of Medicine alumni Lampis D. Anagnostopoulos, SB'57, MD'61, and Charles Y.C. Pak, SB'58, MD'61, couldn't be closer. "He came from Korea and I came from Greece, but our friendship was sealed the first time we made eye contact," says Anagnostopoulos. "This friendship was perpetuated with trust for each other without any reservations."
Both scolarship recipients from humble beginnings, Anagnostopoulos and Pak thrived in medical school largely because neither had to worry about how they would finance their education. “When I graduated from medical school I was penniless, but without any debt,” Pak says.
Now a semi-retired professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Pak was eager to give back not only to the University that paved the way for his future, but also to his lifelong friend.
“I owe a lot to the University of Chicago for the education and life lessons it provided me,” Pak says. “So why not return some of the benefits I received to the institution that helped sow the seed and to acknowledge my very good friend?”
Scholarship fund to benefit pritzker students
Pak and his wife Jane established the Lampis D. Anagnostopoulos, MD, Medical Student Scholarship Fund to benefit future Pritzker School of Medicine students.
“I’m so grateful and humbled,” Anagnostopoulos says of the scholarship. “I don’t know whether I can ever express my gratitude.”
Anagnostopoulos, a cardiologist at Northwest Heart Specialists in Arlington Heights, IL, says he hopes the scholarship recipients will be stimulated and emotionally stirred the way he and Charles Pak were.
Still connected to the University through the Alumni Association, Anagnostopoulos has found enjoyment helping to select alumni service award winners and by participating in the Day in the Life shadow program. “This is just one way of keeping the umbilical cord intact,” he quips. The two reunited again this summer as they both returned to Hyde Park to celebrate their 50th class reunion.
Hard work and discipline keys to success
Besides a demanding academic curriculum, medical school was dominated by hard work and discipline for Pak. “I had to work part time to earn money to live,” he says. “The University of Chicago helped me immensely by awarding me a full-tuition scholarship for $1,000 per year, but there were other expenses.”
Pak served as a part-time laboratory technician under Dr. John Arnold in nephrology for about 20 hours a week, which was crucial in helping him to pursue a career in medical research. Following his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Chicago, he left for the National Institutes of Health in 1963 and then became a senior investigator of the endocrinology branch of the National Heart and Lung Institute in 1965.
“I learned that hard work and perseverance could lead to success and fulfillment,” Pak says.
Anagnostopolous developed similar skills, which he says were unique attributes instilled at Chicago. “Physically I grew up in Greece; intellectually I grew up at the University of Chicago,” he declares.
Doctors taught to treat patients, not disease
As a student, Anagastopolous and his classmates were frequently reminded that they were treating patients and not the disease. They were also reminded that when doctors enter a patient’s room, they should not stand by the side of the door, but rather right next to the patient while reaching out to them and squeezing their hand.
“If you stand by the side of the door, the message is that you want to get out of there,” he says. “I don’t see this type of training anymore, but I hope it’s still the same at the University of Chicago. You treat another person the way you would like to be treated. We must never lose the human aspect.”
For more information on how you can contribute to the Lampis D. Anagnostopoulos, MD, Medical Student Scholarship Fund, please contact Jill Doherty at (773) 702-3055.