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Getting to know Dr. Niran Al-Agba( Fri, Apr 10 00:04:AM)

Getting to know Dr. Niran Al-Agba

“Getting to know you………getting to know all about you.”

In continuing our popular “Getting to Know You” feature, we are excited to share with you an interview with former USTA National Champion and World Silver Medalist, Dr. Niran Al-Agba!

Niran is a Board Certified Pediatrician who was born and raised in Bremerton, Wash. After graduation from Olympic High School and Michigan State University, she received her M.D. at the University of Washington in 1999. She finished her pediatric residency at the University of Colorado School of Medicine/Denver Children's Hospital in 2002.

1. Niran, did your baton twirling career influence your choice to be a doctor?

Niran: Baton twirling did not impact my career choice - I have wanted to be a physician since I was five years old - but it CERTAINLY contributed to my success. Baton twirling was the foundation for my life. First, it taught me the importance of hard work, determination and resilience more than any other experience growing up as a child. Second, it taught me humility. Sitting down with the World Team judges and hearing their positive and negative feedback was so valuable - I learned that mistakes are opportunities to learn, grow and constantly improve. Third, the answer to this question about the role baton twirling played in my success would not be complete without sharing that baton twirling indirectly led to my acceptance into medical school. I was on the waitlist at the University of Washington and the Dean at the time said “nothing in my application seemed extraordinary.” He shrugged his shoulders when I mentioned I had been a silver medalist at the 1990 World Championships. A week later, I mailed a videotape (this was 1995) to him and a letter sharing how much baton twirling meant in my life and how determined I was to become a physician. And a few months later, I was accepted into the fall class at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
2. As a physician, what words of encouragement, during this pandemic, can you offer our twirling community?
Niran: My advice for families watching COVID-19 take over our entire world is similar to my advice when each of us face new challenges. Know that we can overcome obstacles, but it always takes commitment, grit, persistence, collaboration and love for one another. This is an unprecedented time in our country and our healthcare system that will test the boundaries of what it is to be one nation and one people. We must work together to help each other mentally, physically and spiritually.
3. Lastly, what are three things the twirling world may not know about you?
Niran: 1. I love being a mom to my four children who are 6, 8, 9 and 11. 
2. I live on Diet Coke and Peanut Butter (I don’t recommend these as the foundation of a healthy diet.) 
3. I am proud of the fact that even though I have not picked up a baton in more than 20 years,  I can still do walkovers, side aerials, illusions and many gymnastics moves I did as a child.
Thanks, Niran! It was fun catching up with you!