Since the curtain came down on his days at Ethical Culture Fieldston School last week, Asher Raduns-Silverstein has hit the ground running.
While other recently liberated seniors have headed to the beach or poolside to wile away their summer days, Raduns-Silverstein headed to South Florida. Not for the beach or to sit poolside, however. Instead he flew 1,500 miles to get a small taste of what he hopes will be his career after college.
“I’m down in Miami and I’ll be shadowing a doctor for a week,” Raduns-Silverstein said. “I’ll be doing stuff like this all summer long.”
Later this summer, Raduns-Silverstein will shadow a doctor in Connecticut and another on Long Island.
“It’s going to be a jam-packed, good summer,” he said.
Raduns-Silverstein plans to pursue medicine when he begins college at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall, so he’s using this summer to get a little experience under his belt.
“I’m shadowing doctors in different specialties,” said Raduns-Silverstein, a top two-way linemen for the Eagles football team the past four seasons. “The one doctor I’m working with this week is a cardiologist. The one that I’ll be shadowing in Connecticut is an OB (obstetrician), and the one on Long Island is a neurosurgeon.”
And while the outgoing Raduns-Silverstein won’t charm his way into scrubbing up for surgery anytime soon, there will still be plenty of knowledge to absorb.
“It’s like being a glorified, unpaid intern,” Raduns-Silverstein said. “I’ll just be going around and helping them with whatever they need, and I’m going to try and pick up as much second-hand information as I can in a week’s time.”
Raduns-Silverstein’s medical merry-go-round is quite a change from the past 14 years of his life — all of which were spent on Fieldston’s campus. But now that this Eagle has flown the nest, he’s ready to spread his wings.
“There are things I’ll miss,” Raduns-Silverstein said. “I spent 14 years there, and now things are going to seem different. But I think I’m in a place where I feel I’m ready to move on. I started there when I was four. So it’s time.”
When it comes to looking at what helped shape his high school football career, it’s actually defeat Raduns-Silverstein points to, oddly enough, not victory. It was something he experienced with teammates Jesse Cooper-Leary and Alexander Thorpe.
“This might not be my most favorite memory, but it is my most distinctive,” he said. “It was freshman year and we were on a terrible football team. That was the winless year. But I vividly remember losing the homecoming game because I remember a senior on our team coming up to three specific freshmen — me, Jesse and Alexander — and telling us to never let that happen again. And over the next three years, we never lost homecoming again.”
And he won’t lose at life either. Thankfully, the summer won’t be all work for Raduns-Silverstein. He plans on a pair of week-long trips and a quick venture to the Midwest before school starts.
“I’m headed to Colombia for a week with my family, so that will be fun,” he said. “Then at the end of July, I’m going to Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada, for a week for a canoe trip. Then there’s a trip to New Orleans with a close friend, but that might be switched to a music festival in Chicago.”
When the travel fun — and the doctor shadowing — are over, Raduns-Silverstein is off to Penn to get his first taste of medicine. It kind of runs in the family.
“I’ve always been interested in the sciences, and my mom is a doctor,” he said. “So I’ve always been leaning towards that area. But I want to keep my options open because this is a new chapter.”
Raduns-Silverstein has two unique opportunities in place to get him acquainted with his new school and schoolmates.
“I’m applying for two orientation programs,” he said. “One program is specifically for the arts. It’s basically (orienting) you to Philadelphia and the arts scene there and what art programs are available at Penn. And the other one is a camping trip, which is a three-day trip backpacking up into the Appalachian Mountains with new students.”
And Penn always was Raduns-Silverstein’s first choice.
“My dad went there post-grad, and when I looked at it for the first time last year, I remember being blown away by the opportunities available there,” the new high school graduate said. “I want to be in theatre, I want to play club baseball, and I want to be on a pre-med track. I felt like at Penn those were all options.”
But he promised to visit Fieldston whenever he’s in town.
“I literally live a hop, skip and a jump away from Fieldston,” Raduns-Silverstein said. “So I’ll come back for games whenever I’m home.”