By George Thoma
If you asked Amir Eslami how he ended up as a cardiologist in Pennsylvania the answer may surprise you.
“I can honestly say I was not the best student,” he recalled. “I did not have straight As, there were classes I struggled with. Once you see that C on your report card, you think ‘Maybe I’m not cut out to do this.’”
While he may not have set the honor roll on fire, Eslami’s commitment to hard work and a desire to help people drove him to pursue his goals.
Born in Iran, Eslami emigrated to Canada when he was in the sixth grade. After moving again, this time to Boise during his last year of high school, he knew he wanted to stay close to home while continuing his education. Boise State, he said, was his first choice for college.
His interests remained diverse – soccer teams, being a resident adviser in Barnes Towers and minoring in Middle Eastern studies.
“Being born in Iran, I wanted to have some more insight into the culture where I grew up and its relations to the West,” he said of his Middle Eastern history courses. “It was a good separation between biology and something that’s completely different. I found reading the history to be insightful to my personal journey and learning, rather than being strictly academic.”
Eslami finished medical school at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in 2017 and began his internal medicine residency at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania. After a three-year residency, he stayed at Geisinger where he is a cardiology fellow.
Eslami said mentors and learning about the different fields of medicine led him to cardiology. Working with patients helps him thrive.
“All throughout life I’ve been fortunate to have a support system, but I was always taught to give back and be as helpful as you can be,” he said. “I think I just happened to find the right passion.”
Eslami’s sister, Yalda Eslami – a 2010 Boise State graduate – also attended medical school. She is finishing her internal medicine residency and beginning a pulmonary and critical care fellowship in Las Vegas in July. Her brother, she said, has been a great motivation for her.
“He’s always made everything seem achievable and paved the path for me in every aspect of life. It’s very much inspiring to watch him go after what he wants without being discouraged due to obstacles and naysayers. He knows his path and no one can lead him away from it.”