By: Owen Setiawan
As the graduating class of 280 parted ways with Central High School last June, these new graduates became permanent members of Central’s extensive alumni association. Central’s alumni association is an impressive group with famous musicians, doctors, and more. Among these alumni is Dr. David L. Reich, a doctor, a leader, and most importantly a learner.
After graduating as a member of the 236th class, Dr. Reich entered medical school at the age of 18 through the Penn State-Jefferson Five Year Cooperative Program. He graduated at 22 and then spent time at UCLA in residency. After residency, he moved to New York to pursue his interest in anesthesiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and eventually became Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology in 2004 and in 2013 became the President and Chief Operating Officer of The Mount Sinai Hospital.
Throughout his work as an anesthesiologist, Dr. Reich emphasizes the importance of being a servant leader and a member of a collective team rather than an individual. As President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Reich continues to call upon the importance of being a member of a team. One of his daily duties is to complete executive rounds where he takes a mental survey of Mount Sinai’s daily functions while also getting to know the plethora of staff including the youngest doctors, residents, and nurses. He aims to learn something new every day be it about one of his staff members or the medical field. This mantra of, “How do I learn something every day?” connects to his days as a student learner at Central and the values of Central high school. Dr. Reich’s Central experience is both unique and similar to that of all Central students. He recollects his mornings at Central that he would spend in the Barnwell library with his friends just as many current Central students still do. His time at Central helped Dr. Reich establish a good work ethic and habits that continue to impact his life today.
Going forward, Dr. Reich hopes to continue to play a role in creating more effective ways to deliver healthcare. The pandemic has caused a rise in telemedicine that has both benefits and disadvantages. However, a move towards digital transformation throughout the medical field has not only benefited patients. Dr. Reich states how video conferencing, as opposed to physical conferences, has created new atmospheres of inclusivity.
Dr. Reich leaves a message to all Central students and those most interested in medicine and health: “You’re not really a good doctor until you have a commitment to lifelong learning.” Drawing on both his experience as a Central alum and a successful medical professional, Dr. Reich reminds the Central community of the strength of Central’s academic culture and strong, lasting alumni association.