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Tufts University School of Medicine

Why I Give to the Tufts University School of Medicine

Aristides “JR” Cruz and Ashley Peterson with their Shih Tzu Boomer
Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 2:00pm

Aristides “JR” Cruz, A02, M06, and Ashley Peterson, A03, M12, met as undergraduates on Tufts’ cross country and track teams, but being three-season athletes was not the only thing they had in common. Both envisioned medical careers. Cruz got off to a fast start; through the university’s early decision option, he was accepted to Tufts School of Medicine as a sophomore. Peterson would ultimately shift her studies to history, and after graduation, work in marketing and advertising. But as she watched Cruz’s journey through medical school unfold, she rekindled her own dream to be a doctor, and fulfilled pre-med requirements at Harvard Extension School. In 2008, she was thrilled to be admitted to the medical school.

Today, the couple (and parents of a two-year-old) have found fulfilling careers in health care, Cruz as a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, RI and Peterson as maternal-fetal medicine specialist with Tufts Medical Center. Their paths to professional success reflect a shared passion for medicine, but also a strong system of support at both the college and medical school. “Students really love Tufts and Tufts really cares about their students,” Peterson said. “I felt cared for every step of the way.”

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