Mohan Nadkarni

Walter Johnson valedictorian

Mohan “Mo” Nadkarni earned straight A’s, including in Advanced Placement classes, at Walter Johnson High School. He went on to major in biology at Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.

From Harvard, Nadkarni went to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He did his residency at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville and has been on the faculty there since 1993. He recently was named chief of general internal medicine. Nadkarni also devotes a good deal of time to the Charlottesville Free Clinic, which he helped start during his UVA residency.

“If you had told me in high school that I’d live in Charlottesville, I’d have laughed,” Nadkarni says. “I grew up outside D.C., went to college in Boston and med school in Philly. I did know even then, though, that I wanted to help people, having volunteered at the Red Cross and the rescue squad while a high school student.”

Former classmate Randy MacLowry, isn’t surprised Nadkarni became a doctor. “It fits his people-oriented personality and [his] generous and thoughtful spirit,” he says.

Nadkarni married Jean Burke, a WJ classmate, in 1985. They divorced in 2005, but remain friends and share the parenting of their three sons. With changing life circumstances and a “carpe diem” philosophy, Nadkarni tried skydiving in North Carolina one summer and parasailing last year. “These were things I was unlikely to have done in high school,” Nadkarni says. “I lived much more ‘by the book,’ but have since realized that life is short and is not a dress rehearsal. So now I try to get the most out of every day.”