Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Kadhiresan Murugappan, '09

4th Year Medical Student, Chicago, IL

Like many of our students, Kadhir‘€™s academic preparation for a career in medicine entailed breadth and depth beyond the sciences. In 2009 he graduated with a triple major in Spanish, History, and Latin American Studies. While at Tulane, Kadhir spent a semester in Buenos Aires enrolled at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina, and Universidad de Buenos Aires and during the summer of 2007, worked with underprivileged youth from Niterói, Brazil in a project for BemTV, a local non-profit community media group. Later that year, he worked with the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, assisting specifically in the compilation of an electronic database of the group‘€™s historic documents in order to preserve them for posterity.

Here Kadhiresan reflects on the way his LAST major impacted his medical career…

Why did you choose to major in Latin American Studies?

I originally entered college knowing I would ultimately pursue an M.D., but I wanted to use my four years to study something other than science (aside from the required coursework).  My interest in Latin America stemmed from experiences I had in high school.  I lived in a dormitory with international students from around the world, including many from Mexico. With their help, I excelled in my Spanish classes and knew that continuing my study would allow me to reach a far greater population as a physician. 

How has your background in LAST helped you since graduation?

I did not know how valuable my time at Tulane and abroad in Brazil and Argentina would become. In the hospital, I am often the only person on my team who speaks Spanish‘€“making my communication skills an integral part of daily rounds and allowing me to follow unique cases I would otherwise miss out on. Additionally, the cultural perspective I gained through LAST allows me to build rapport with patients from diverse backgrounds.  

Any words of wisdom for LAST undergraduates?

To undergraduates from LAST, I would recommend shooting for the stars. LAST encourages students to analyze problems from a broad-scoped, multidisciplinary background. This approach is useful not only in traditionally affiliated professions, but also in careers in business, medicine, or any field. There truly is no limitation for what you can do with your degree, but the skills and experiences you gain from LAST will definitely set you apart from other applicants for jobs and graduate programs.






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Upcoming Events

Central America: People and the Environment Asynchronous Institute

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Register now for the ASYNCHRONOUS COURSE which opens up in July
Please note, the synchronous blended institute taking place June 14 – 25 is no longer accepting registrants.

This summer educator institute is the third institute in a series being offered by Tulane University, The University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University. This series of institutes is designed to enhance the presence of Central America in the K-12 classroom. Each year, participants engage with presenters, resources and other K-12 colleagues to explore diverse topics in Central America with a focus on people and the environment. It is not required to have participated in past institutes to join us.

The Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University is excited to host and coordinate this year’s institute. Tulane University and New Orleans are both unique and important places to explore the deep connections to Central America with a focus on people and environment. With presentations by leading historians and sociologists on Central America, environment and race we are excited to share the work and resources from presenters as well as the unique resources at Tulane.


NOW REGISTERING FOR THE ASYNCHRONOUS INSTITUTE For more information, please email or call 504.865.5164. Space is limited.