Med School Associate Dean of Admissions is Named a Business Journal 40 Under 40
Hiral Choksi Yalamanchili, M.D., the associate dean of admissions for Saint Louis University’s School of Medicine as well as an associate professor of internal medicine, was named a St. Louis Business Journal 40 Under 40 for 2020.
Choksi, a St. Louis native, did her residency at SLU after attending the University of Missouri-Kansas City for her bachelor’s and medical degrees. She returned to SLU in 2015 to become the inaugural section chief of hospital medicine, after working for several years as a hospitalist in Chicago.
“I had worked in hospital medicine and I wanted to see how things worked in an academic setting versus the private sector,” she said. “It was a chance to partner with SSM Health and work between the university and the hospital.”
In her role as the associate dean of admissions, Choksi is working with L. James Willmore, M.D., who has been a fixture in the School of Medicine admissions office.
“I loved recruitment as a section chief, so I was excited for the opportunity,” Choksi said. “Dr. Willmore has been doing this for 21 years. He has done a phenomenal job and during this transition period, I am trying to figure out what his secret sauce is. But I’m also looking to put my own stamp on it.”
Choksi said she is excited to meet prospective students as they apply to SLU.
“There is an idealism when you are first starting out,” she said. “Each applicant is different and once we get them in here to interview, you look for that something awesome that sets them apart and makes them SLU material.”
What is SLU material?
“When I talk to people about SLU, I talk about the people,” she said. “We are all here for the same reason – we hold the mission of SLU close to us. We are here for the other person; here to serve. That makes this a special place to be.”
Choksi added that Saint Louis University listens to its people – be it students or residents – and makes changes where needed.
Her goal is to continue to recruit students of diverse backgrounds who will become empathetic physicians.“We listen and then we act,” she said. “No class is the same, no problem is the same but I think we do well by making sure we are listening to each other.”
Choksi is married with two children, ages 5 and 7. She said it is her family, especially her supportive husband, who keep her grounded.
“I couldn’t do this without the support of my husband and the understanding of my children,” she said. “We both have demanding careers (he is a partner with Ernst & Young) and he travels quite a bit. We have a partnership that allows us to both do what we love.”
Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, liver disease, heart/lung disease, aging and brain disease, and infectious diseases.