Renowned radiologist welcomed by Alumni Association for Homecoming

By Emily Bardales

Each year the University Alumni Association invites a group of distinguished alumni back to campus to participate in homecoming festivities. One of this year’s returning Illini is Scott Atlas.

Atlas is a full-time faculty member at the Stanford School of Medicine, senior fellow at both the Hoover Institution and Freeman-Spogli Institute for international studies and practicing radiologist.

“It was only after I got into the field of medicine that I understood that there is a broad range of things that you can do,” Atlas said.His involvement with the Hoover Institution, a think tank, allows Atlas to research health care, the role of government in the health care system in the United States, as well as heath care systems and issues with access and availability combined with the role of government in emerging countries specifically, but not exclusively, China. Atlas is the only radiologist to be awarded a senior fellowship at the Hoover Institution.

After receiving his bachelor’s in biology from the University in 1977, Atlas continued his education with a M.D. degree from the University of Chicago School of Medicine. Atlas completed his residency at Northwestern University Medical Center in Chicago, and then left Illinois to pursue his fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia.Atlas’ return to the University for homecoming will be his first time back since graduation.

Thinking back to his days on campus, Atlas most remembers “going to the football and basketball games, eating at Papa Del’s and spending time at the library talking my girlfriend out of studying.”

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    To the current students at the University, “I would say think broadly about what you can do with what you have done with your University of Illinois education. Aim very high because it is the only way you can achieve anything. Aiming low is a self-defining limitation; always aim for doing better than you think you can do,” Atlas said.

    Now married to that girlfriend he used to talk out of studying, Atlas has two boys ages 12 and 14 and lives in Palo Alto, Calif. The whole family will be joining Atlas on his return to his alma mater for homecoming.