Kari-Claudia Allen, MD, MPH

Class of: 2013

Family Medicine 

Current practice 
 USC-Prisma Health Family Medicine Residency Program 

What is a fond memory of your time at BUSM? 
During the annual talent show, a group of 10 of us from the first-year class performed a Bollywood dance that was beyond epic. Everyone in the group were dancers, but at least half of us had never even heard of Bollywood dancing before – we just thought it would be a lot of fun and knew we all wanted to do something together. Folks from Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Southeast America, and India came together to exchange a new form of cultural dance, and it was super dope. We created bonds that have lasted for almost a decade since, and we definitely rocked the performance! Did we win? I can’t remember, but we probably did! 

Which faculty member left a lasting impact on you?  
Hands down, Dr. Kenneth Edelin was my favorite person at BUSM. As Dean of the Office of Minority Affairs, he founded the Early Medical School Selection Program (EMSSP). This is a pathway program that allows eligible students from 13 Historically Black (HBCUs) and Predominantly Hispanic Colleges to seek early acceptance into BUSM and then supports their matriculation through the school. Dr. Edelin’s life work was increasing diversity in the medical workforce. His mission was to give smart, capable, but underrepresented students the chance to fulfill their dreams of becoming a physician, which frankly, without his program, was a dream that would have been largely unattainable for many. Although he is no longer physically with us, his spirit and legacy live on in his students. 

What would you name as your most recent accomplishment? 
In 2019, I started an organization called Envision with Dr. Kari that teaches meditation and visualization through creative writing. We hold workshops at schools, churches, and conferences; recently, we held our first retreat called Envision 2020 that incorporated creative writing, meditation, yoga, reiki, and other self-care practices for mind/body/spirit wellness. It’s been an amazing experience teaching people of all ages and stages in life how to take care of themselves in comprehensive and holistic ways. 

We know programs like that take a lot of hard work. Do you have time for hobbies outside of work? 
I love being near water! Fishing, beaching, kayaking, and boating are my faves. 

What are your academic appointments? Recent publications?  
Assistant Program Director, USC-Prisma Health Family Medicine Residency Program; Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of South Carolina School of Medicine 

Letter to the Editor: “South Carolina immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraception program helps patients receive the contraceptive method they desire.” Burgis J, Tomlin K, Allen KC. Contraception. 2019. Published online: September 12, 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.contraception.2019.07.147

You are incredibly busy! How have you been adjusting to the changes brought on by COVID-19? 
Adjusting to life during the time of COVID-19 has been one of the greatest challenges most of us will face in our lifetime. However, I live by the principle that there is good in all things, if we choose to see it. The reality is that this has been a time of turmoil and uncertainty, but it has also allowed us to renew our commitment to the higher calling of our profession — which is caring for all mankind. On the toughest of days, I am reminded that we are all in this together, worldwide, and that the fraternity I joined when I took the Hippocratic Oath is stronger than we’ve ever been. That grounds me, centers me, and allows me to keep moving forward.