“I transferred into UC San Diego undergrad
from a community college in my early twenties,
then had to apply twice to be accepted to med
school,” says UC San Diego senior medical
student David Carlson. “After that, and being
treated for a brain tumor as a med student, I
know nothing is guaranteed but almost everything is possible.”
David has been awarded the Jackuelyn
Harris Stein Institute Medical Student
David completed his undergraduate training in
physiology and neuroscience at UC San Diego.
Subsequently, as a medical student here, he
has demonstrated exceptional commitment to
research. David has been working with
Dilip V. Jeste, MD, on two research projects
including physical aging in patients with schizophrenia and use of healthcare technology in
senior housing facilities, focusing on physical
and cognitive outcomes.
David’s interest in geropsychiatry comes from
his desire for understanding neurobiological as
well as psychosocial underpinnings of behavior.
At the same time, he enjoys patient interactions. He was elected by his classmates as the
student representative for MS2 “Mind Brain
and Behavior” block, serving as the liaison
between students and staff. David’s research
interest is exemplified by two published
abstracts on which he is a coauthor—one in
the journal Anesthesiology, titled “Analgesic
equirements and implications for discharge
readiness” and another one in the Journal of
Neurochemistry, titled “Activation of 7-
containing nicotinic receptors on astrocytes
triggers AMPA receptor recruitment to glutamatergic synapses.” David has also put on a series of lectures for his
medical school community based on what he
has learned through his own experiences.
“I look forward to caring for patients and examining the role of wisdom, resilience, optimism,
and social connections in mental health and
wellness,” said David, who will pursue his
residency in psychiatry at UCLA.