Doctor in the making: Reid Haflich, ’06
Catching up with a grad
Some doctors were born knowing they want to go into medicine; others make the discovery later in their schooling. Sonoma Valley High School grad Reid Haflich, ‘06, enrolled in a summer leadership conference on medicine after his junior year of high school. The conference was set up to expose teens to different careers in medicine and it served exactly that purpose for him. The decision to attend the conference changed his life and since 2005, Haflich has worked in various capacities for the National Student Leadership Conference, which puts on 14 different summer programs each year. In 2010 and 2011, he directed their conferences on medicine in Washington, D.C., and this coming summer will direct those in Atlanta and Boston.
In his final year at Sonoma Valley High, Haflich was as deliberate and methodical about his search for the right college as he has been in his search for the right career. “I tried to visit as many college campuses as possible to have a ‘feel’ of student life. I wanted my new school to feel like home because I knew the college I chose would become my new home.” His decision came down to two large public schools, and he picked U.C. Davis.
His favorite thing about college was the opportunity to continuously meet new people. “School and community involvement put me in proximity to so many new faces so often that I began to revel in meeting people with interests and personalities far different from my own,” he said.
After graduating in 2010, Haflich was accepted into Boston University’s School of Medicine. Before starting, however, he took some time off to travel abroad and deferred his start date so that he could also complete U.C. Davis’ masters of public health degree program. He will graduate from that program this coming June and start medical school in Boston in 2013.
Haflich has yet to decide on a specialty to pursue, but knows that a part of his future in medicine will center around international work. “I want to work for or with organizations such as Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders to assist those in most need following natural disasters, civil crises and war.” He plans to learn French to broaden his potential countries of practice to include some African nations.
Right now, Haflich lives in Davis with his girlfriend, but his parents, Eileen and Dave, still live in Sonoma. His older brother Brant, Sonoma Valley High ’05, recently graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in environmental engineering.
Haflich travels as much as he can. He studied abroad in Spain during college and lived in Germany after graduating. He speaks fluent Spanish and German, and particularly enjoys traveling to places where he can use his language skills.
In his free time, Haflich is an avid cyclist. “Davis has more bikes than cars and they have a terrific bike infrastructure here.” Throughout college, he and his brother did longer tours down the California coast and in Oregon together. Earlier this month, they returned from a cycling trip across the U.S. from Yosemite to Washington, D.C. “It was an education by bicycle,” he said.
Haflich is resigned to his path in medicine taking “a million years.” After four years at U.C. Davis, he has five more years to go before formally receiving his medical degree but is cheerful about the ever-present array of options that life has presented him. “I feel like I am in the driver’s seat,” he said. “I always tell the teens that I work with at the summer programs that having an open mind means finding open doors. You’re behind the steering wheel of your life, so take control and go everywhere possible.”
Senior project: Starting a driving service with Joel Broderick (’06).
Favorite teachers: Janet Hansen, Alison Manchester, Pam Adams and Señor Merino.
Favorite class: Forensics (speech and debate), because it encouraged creativity, critical thinking and it has been a skill that he has used frequently since.
Classmates he keeps in touch with: Kelley Patten, Joel Broderick, Jason Gaffner and Nate Fuchs, all 2006 graduates.