THRIVE is an AIWA-SF April project dedicated to highlighting Armenians who are doing amazing things in their personal and professional lives to better themselves and those around them. These individuals are inspiring, dynamic, innovative and interesting. Today, we feature Dr. Mariam Manoukian MD, PhD.
My name and title is Dr. Mariam Manoukian MD, PhD. I’m a physician at Stanford Healthcare. Born and raised in Armenia, I graduated from Yerevan State Medical School and then studied in Moscow and defended a PHD thesis in Neuroendocrinology. In 1992, I moved to the US and married Jerry Manoukian. We have two wonderful children, Elize and Gregory. I did my residency at Valley Medical Center in San Jose, CA. After that, I joined my husband Jerry in private practice, and in 2012, we joined Stanford Healthcare. My main interests are health and education about health, as well as Armenia’s rich history that spans from ancient times to the era of the genocide, and beyond.
I have written several books in Armenian and, after moving to the US, several in English: to name them, “Ayb, Ben, Ghim for Diabetes” (Yerevan 1991, 2012), “Metabolic Syndrome Survival Guide” (2004, with Jerry Manoukian), “On the Other Side of Mount Ararat” (2005, with Elize Manoukian) translated into Armenian, Russian and Turkish, “The Second Life” (2008) and The Alpha Plan “ (2011 with Kim Fielding)
Most recently, I wrote a play “The Sword of Iarsha” under the pen name Emma Raffi. It is a historic drama dedicated to the 2800 anniversary of Yerevan. It was staged at the Youth Theatre in Yerevan in October 2018, and has joined the theatre’s permanent rotation.
My life philosophy is to make your best effort to improve in whatever sphere you have expertise in, and feel strongly about the need for change. For me, that particular field is health and healthcare education. I feel incredibly lucky to be a physician. It gives me an opportunity to improve people’s lives every day. It is not easy, and not always successful, but day after day, I put my best effort into it. Change is hard but when successful, the reward is incredible. Not trying is always unsuccessful. The question always on my mind is, “If not me, then who?”
Armenianness is quite strong in me. This quality was definitely instilled into me deeply by my parents, and I tried to do the same thing with my children. I grew up in Armenia, and hope to see it always in peace and prosperity. I love the Armenian history with all its depth and sadness and authored several books about it. The recent political changes in Armenia are very exciting, and I would love to see these reflect into the systems of health care and education. I wish there was a remote control that could improve them, but it doesn’t exist. Instead, the changing force is us: the people of Armenia, and the diaspora who care about it. My future plan is to return to Armenia, live there and participate in its development.
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