Sameer D. Chervu, MD, M20, Memorial Scholarship
By Kris Willcox
Drs. Arun and Indira Chervu established the Sameer D. Chervu, MD, M20, Memorial Scholarship in loving memory of their son, Sameer, and in support of Tufts medical school’s mission to train outstanding physicians. Sameer passed away in 2019 and was awarded his MD degree posthumously in 2020.
The Chervu family invites family and friends in the Tufts community and beyond to join them in supporting the scholarship in honor of Sameer and his devotion to compassionate care.
“You changed our lives forever” —from a poem by the Chervu family
From the day of his birth in 1992, Sameer was a delight and a challenge to his parents. In a poem written for Sameer’s memorial service, they spoke directly to their son, telling him that although Sameer means “gentle wind,” he had entered their lives “as a tornado” and reshaped their family with his boundless spirit. Sameer’s parents and older brother, Nikhil, watched him grow from a quiet, introverted child of irrepressible curiosity to a young man with a crackling intellect and mischievous wit, and finally to a medical student who matched incredible clinical skills with profound compassion for his patients.
Prior to medical school, Sameer studied biomedical engineering, earning a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Tech and a master’s from Duke University. His mother, Indira, says that these were steps in pursuit of Sameer’s long-held dream to become an orthopedic surgeon and develop prosthetic limbs that would feel as natural as a normal limb. “He first had this idea when he was in eighth grade,” she says, “so he was determined that this was what he was going to do.”
Sameer adored music and played multiple instruments. He also enjoyed golf, watersports, gourmet cooking, football, and sports cars. He loved to surprise his family with a joke, a gift, or a zany idea, from cooking frogs’ legs when he was in third grade to exacting promises from the family that they would one day form a band. “He always challenged me,” Arun remembers fondly. “I miss that.” Above all, says Indira, Sameer cared about other people. “He took his role as a friend extremely seriously,” she said. His friends at the memorial service described Sameer as “a unifying force and the glue” who brought people together with his infectious energy and generous nature.
The words from Sameer’s clinical supervisors reflect his innate talent and growing skills: “An excellent student.” “Incredibly efficient.” “A pleasure to teach.” “An incredible memory.” “A gentleman both in his demeanor and his words.” “You can tell medicine is [his] passion.” “An amazing human being.”
Tragically, Sameer died in a jet skiing accident, one year before he would have graduated from Tufts. His death was an incalculable loss to his family—and to the countless friends, colleagues, and faculty who knew him.
In the pocket of Sameer’s white coat, Indira found stickers and lollipops that he kept for the young patients he met during his pediatric rotation. For Arun and Indira, these are a bittersweet reminder of Sameer’s gift for friendship and his dedication to patients. Through each future recipient, the Sameer D. Chervu, MD, M20, Memorial Scholarship will keep Sameer’s legacy alive and strengthen the field of medicine that he loved.
To make a gift online, please visit: go.tufts.edu/ChervuScholarship
For more information or to mail a gift, contact:
Rebecca Scott, Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations
Tufts University School of Medicine
136 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02111