HEMPSTEAD, NY—As if training to become a doctor isn’t challenging enough, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell first-year student Ben Zhang decided to add competing on “Jeopardy!” to his busy schedule. In fact, he captured second place and $4,798 on the popular television quiz show, which aired Thanksgiving eve, Wed., Nov. 27, 2019, on the ABC network.
“I was always interested in learning more about the world, and I’ve watched many of my friends appear on the show,” said Zhang, who resides in Westbury, NY. “When I got the call back from Jeopardy in August, I was honored to have an opportunity to compete on the same stage as they have.”
Zhang received his chance to join the elite Jeopardy stage of contestants after auditioning three times for the program and taking an online test.
“To prepare, I went through the Jeopardy archives to practice on old questions to get a feel for the topics and the word games they like to play. I also played quiz bowl in high school and undergrad. I was familiar with a lot of the content and could manage both medical school exams and the taping in Los Angeles.”
As a medical student, he said the preparation and experience of participating in Jeopardy helped him to connect with patients.
“The same knowledge and experiences that helped bring me on Jeopardy have also allowed me to build rapport with patients, especially if they were from another country and didn’t expect anyone to know about their hometown or culture,” explained Zhang. “Plus, knowing more things about the human body doesn’t hurt as a medical student!”