Dov Brodkin Named Touro University Valedictorian

Future Doctor to Represent Touro’s Lander College for Men as Student Commencement Speaker

May 21, 2024
Dov Brodkin
Dov Brodkin

“I realized that perhaps what had touched the man was not the money my donuts were worth,” Dov said, “it was the fact that I had taken the time to look him in the eyes, view him as an equal, demonstrating to him that he was not invisible, but worthy in his own right.”

Although he was already planning to pursue a career in medicine, this experience was impactful and captured why Dov believed it was what he was meant to do.

“It may be cliche, but I’m interested in medicine because it allows me to combine my love of life-long learning and science with helping others,” he said. “I believe I’m well-suited for medicine and feel strongly that it is a field where I can make a difference.”

He will get his shot as he begins medical school this summer at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. The biology major was named the 2024 valedictorian of Lander College for Men (LCM) and will be one of the student speakers at Touro University’s Lander College commencement at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center on June second.

Dov’s preparation for a career in medicine began even before he started college. He shadowed physicians during his summer breaks in Oregon, spending the rest of the year as a high school student at the Yeshiva of Greater Washington in Silver Spring, MD.

To develop his patient-interaction skills, while at LCM, he volunteered in Manhattan and Queens through a hospice care program run by Calvary Hospital, a hospital which exclusively provides palliative care. He also works part time as a direct-service professional in a group home for individuals with developmental disabilities. Besides responsibilities that include washing, cleaning, cooking and other necessary tasks to assist with daily living, Dov became Approved Medication Administration Personnel (AMAP) certified, which enables him to administer medications.

“Dov is an outstanding young man,” said Dr. Moshe Sokol, dean of LCM. “He is graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA—rare at Lander College for Men—he possesses true intellectual curiosity, reads broadly, is committed to Torah learning, and is mature and poised beyond his years. I have every confidence he will make a superb physician and community leader.”

Dov chose to attend LCM because he felt it was uniquely suited to help him achieve his professional goals while in a Jewish environment. He said that Touro’s faculty sincerely cares about each of their students, and they go “above and beyond” to help them succeed, noting that he had developed close relationships with Profs. Kenneth Danishefsky, chair of the LCM Biology Department, and Ann Shinnar, chair of the Pre-Health Professions Committee and Deputy Chair of the Chemistry Department.

The commitment of the teachers, along with the small faculty-to-student ratio, “provides a level of support to students that is not available at other institutions,” he said.

After high school, he attended Yeshivas Torah Ore in Jerusalem for almost a year, but had to come home early due to COVID, and the next year he returned to the Yeshiva of Greater Washington for a second year of Torah learning. The following year, Dov started at  full time. When he is not studying or volunteering, he enjoys reading, exercising, playing classical music on his violin and connecting with his friends, family, and community.