“CIS taught me how to figure out what I liked to learn about and pushed me to create and achieve goals around those interests,” says Columbia Independent School alumnus Gregory Blair. “I gravitated towards genetics, biology and chemistry, which led me to eventually pursue medicine. My teachers always challenged me to ask "why?" As a result of that, after my time at CIS, I was a sufficient self-directed learner - a trait which allowed me to do well in undergrad, medical school, and continues to serve me as a physician.”
Gregory attended CIS from 6th to 12th grade and graduated in 2005. Following his graduation, Gregory attended Northwestern University and earned his bachelor’s degree in Communication Science and Disorders. After his undergrad, he enrolled in the University of Missouri School of Medicine and earned his M.D.
After medical school, Gregory completed an anesthesiology residency and served as chief resident at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, WA. He is now a board-certified anesthesiologist. He spent a year at Stanford University for a Critical Care Anesthesiology fellowship and is currently at Oregon Health and Science University for a second fellowship in Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology. He will finish subspecialty training in July 2019 and is currently looking for his "real" job - a combination of general anesthesiology, cardiothoracic anesthesiology and intensivist work in a critical care unit.
Gregory and his wife Kathryn currently live in Portland, OR with their dog, Dante. When he is not in the hospital, you can often find him outdoors with Kathryn and Dante, hiking and camping around the Pacific Northwest, scuba diving, skiing, or traveling internationally. Gregory and his wife love cooking and enjoying the food scene in Portland. He hopes with the end of his medical training to get back into music, theater, and tennis.
Gregory has some advice for current CIS students. “Take advantage of the opportunities you have at CIS. You're at CIS because someone cares about your future and education. You'll be hard-pressed to find another place and time in your life where you have such a great teacher to student ratio filled with people who want you to succeed and to learn how to learn. Try a little bit of everything and focus on what makes you excited and curious. Also, stay in touch with your classmates, especially after graduation! Among my closest and longest-term friendships are several I made at CIS.”