Two veterans studying medicine at VCU share a deeper bond: Brotherhood

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Anybody who’s worn a military uniform knows the shared sacrifice and commitment it takes to serve the country. Two veterans in Richmond have found another shared goal after enrolling at Virginia Commonwealth University’s medical school.

Of all the things they have in common, the most significant is their last name. On Wednesday, the two veterans shared their journey of brotherhood with 8News.

“It’s kinda like the classic older brother is like you clear the trail you blaze it and then I get all the success,” Chris Pais said.

The Pais brothers are both medical students at VCU. Alex Pais is in his third year and Chris Pais is in his second year.

A pin on the lapel of each white coat, one for the Army and the other for the Marine Corps.

“Going through all the tests each time he takes a test and he’s like how’d you do? And I’m like it wasn’t my best test and I’m like ahhhh me either,” Alex Pais explained.

Before they wore matching white coats in Richmond, both brothers wore a military uniform. The brothers, both following in their dad’s footsteps, were deployed to Iraq at different times.

“He never dissuaded me from it,” A. Pais said of his father, “but I think his words were ‘I think you should understand it’s a full contact sport.'”

The Pais brothers said talking about their time in the military has already helped them build trust with patients.

“They find out that you’re in the Army,” C. Pais told 8News, “it’s not that they served in the Army, it’s my brother, my sister, my daughter, my son.”

“It gives you something to build a rapport on immediately,” A. Pais explained.

Both brothers said there’s a lot of work to do before they have the official title of Dr. Pais. These veterans told 8News that they’re interested in a medical path that could have them treating fellow veterans at a VA hospital.

“A real turn of the table at the VA when you introduce yourself as a med student but nope you’re doc and they would call me doc and that was one of the most rewarding moments,” A. Pais said.

The military is not funding school for these brothers but both used their GI benefits to help pay for their time as undergraduates before they set their sights on medical school.

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