Welcome to my website!

As the author of my own website, I choose to write with first-person pronouns. There are other websites that take a more third-person approach to my life’s narrative. But in here, there is no one else involved and I can directly talk to you and take a more authentic approach as to how to make that introduction.

My first and foremost challenge is how to make sense of my life story. I don’t fit into most frameworks. For example, I went to the best medical school in Iran, studied medicine, graduated with honors, yet ended up not practicing medicine, despite what the society expected me to! Instead, I chose to work as a Medical Director at one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world, supporting a sizeable portfolio of pharmaceuticals used by millions of people worldwide. So, in a way, I am still utilizing my medical training and background, but in a less orthodox manner.

Same with my musical background. I was trained by Master Faramarz Payvar, one of the grand masters of Persian Music for over 10 years and am honored to be one of his favorite graduates. I taught music for 15 years, released 6 albums and published 3 books on music; however, I never pursued music as my vocation or full-time career. Hence, people don’t know how to categorize me: a pro musician whose music career is overshadowed by his medical career, or an amateur musician who happens to have produced more works than most pro musicians within the same genre!

That’s why I believe my story could be best told with either of the following 3 angles:

An MD with a Diverse Background

Professionally, I have found that this story-line resonates most with graduate students and early career professionals: I had a humble beginning as a generalist MD from a top ex-US institution, found my way from healthcare and academia through to the industry and managed to build a solid trajectory over the past 2 decades in Medical Affairs. This story-line shows how I transitioned from academia to the industry, and how I complemented my big pharma experience with shorter term experiences from small pharma, biotech and my own startups.

A Global Professional Citizen

The second story-line that people find interesting is that why instead of a direct immigration from country A to country B, I chose to jump from A to B to C and finally to D. My origin story happened in Iran, I went through a revolution, a war, and a temporary move to Germany as an unaccompanied minor so I wouldn’t be enlisted during Iran-Iraq war. At age 30 when I left Iran, I was so lucky to experience living in London for 6 years, New York for 7 years, San Francisco Bay Area for 4 years and now in SoCal (primarily Los Angeles) for 5 years. Looking back, I can appreciate the privilege that I had by being exposed to different cultures and ways of life. Now, I can leverage all these adventures and experiences in my personal and professional lives and see the courage in myself to envision moving again and live in other countries for the next chapters of my life.

The Blessings and Frustrations of a Borderline Modern Polymath

First off, there is absolutely no bragging rights attached to being a polymath. Secondly, maybe only one percent of modern day polymaths end up super rich like Elon Musk. Therefore, financial success is not an indicator for being a polymath. And thirdly, a doctor, engineer or lawyer knowing how to play the piano really well is not necessarily a proof that he or she is a polymath. It has to be more than that.

I didn’t know what “renaissance man” or the title of “polymath” meant. This is actually a name I was called by my mentors and peers over and over again throughout my life and it has just been recently, that I am learning to “own” this title and talk about it openly. Not as a way to brag, but as a proxy to raise awareness and help parents of globally gifted children who have a “choice” of becoming a polymath as they enter adulthood. I believe that sharing my personal wins and failures could demonstrate the complexity of this journey and hopefully there would be people who could relate to my stories and see that they are not alone in their fulfilling and sometimes frustrating personal and professional journeys.