After graduating from Harvard University in 2012, soccer and lacrosse standout Melanie Baskind, previously honored as the Harvard Crimson’s Female Athlete of the Year, reached new heights while on a fellowship in East Africa.
Along with three companions, Baskind scaled the 19,300-foot Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
“It was four days up and one day down,” recalled the 2008 Globe Female Athlete of the Year, who starred at Framingham High. “It was an incredible experience.”
Now as Dr. Melanie Baskind, the 2018 graduate of Harvard Medical School is now a pediatrics chief resident at the University of California San Francisco.
She teaches and advises medical students and residents and works as an attending physician at the hospital and in urgent care.
She regards her three years as a resident as “incredibly challenging between time spent in the hospital and time spent studying.”
Baskind was the 2019 recipient of the residency program’s Pediatric Intern Award for “excellence in providing compassionate, patient-centered care and exemplary professionalism.”
She said that while some cases exact an emotional toll, “taking care of kids at an important time in their lives makes it all worthwhile.”
At Framingham High, Baskind was an All-American in both soccer and lacrosse. She is an inductee to the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
“That Hall of Fame honor brought back so many memories,” she said. “I feel so lucky to have been a part of it as an individual and because of the success of the teams I was a part of.”
Baskind, who turns 32 on Sept. 27, resides in San Francisco and still plays soccer with the Lady Hibernians of the Golden Gate Women’s Soccer League, which resumed play this month.
“Through the league, I see a bunch of women I played with at Harvard and others I grew up with playing club soccer in Massachusetts. It’s a great break from a tough work schedule,” said Baskind, who is preparing for her pediatric boards in October.
Baskind, the 2012 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Division 1 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, said she was motivated by her early love of sports.
“My older sister, Julie, played a huge role in getting me involved in lacrosse. She’s now a physician’s assistant at Tufts,” said Baskind, who helped lead the Flyers’ girls lacrosse team to back-to-back state titles.
Although she’s 5 foot 3 inches, Baskind used her quickness and field vision to frustrate taller opponents — as a two-way midfielder in lacrosse and an attacking forward and midfielder in soccer.
An All-Ivy League performer in both sports, Baskind said her competitive background has “enhanced my love of working with people. I’m constantly giving and receiving feedback in my work and trying to improve every day.”
Her father, Carl, still plays basketball and her mother, Dianne, plays in an adult women’s soccer league.
“I can’t emphasize enough my family’s support,” said Baskind, who two years ago joined her sister and mother at the Brophy Elementary School in Framingham for a soccer game at the field named for the late Gillian Shor, one of her sister’s close friends.
“All three of us playing together on that field,” she recalled, “was moving and special.”
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