An ability to see other people’s perspectives
By Derek Spahr

At the age of 35, Milad Pooran has already spent a third of his life in service to his country. For him it’s not a choice. It’s a calling.Milad Pooran CTYer

The Jefferson, Maryland physician was still in medical school when he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force with the Maryland Air National Guard and served as a combat medic and operational flight surgeon in efforts including Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Five years as an HIV researcher at the National institutes of Health followed. Then Milad spent a year at the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services studying biodefense and the H1N1 pandemic.

“I was always engaged,” says Milad, who currently works treating wounded service members at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

He immigrated with his parents to the United States from Iran at the age of six and the family settled in Beltsville, Maryland. When the CTY Talent Search came to his middle school, Milad tested and qualified. The summer he spent in Carlisle, Pennsylvania studying Individually Paced Mathematics opened up a world of opportunities.

“Because I was able to do advanced math, I got into AP classes earlier in high school and that actually allowed me to go to college earlier,” he says. “What it did was really put me more in line with where I wanted to be. It also allowed me to interact with a lot of kids that came from many, many different walks of life.”

The ability to see other people’s perspectives helps Milad in his current bid to represent the residents of Maryland’s 6th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Over the last 13 years I’ve been able to travel the globe with the United States working in varying service in one form or another,” Milad says. “For me, getting into politics is simply an extension of that service.”