Advice from APAMSA alumni for Match Day

We hope you’ll keep in touch and remember that wherever you go, your APAMSA family will always support you!
Former APAMSA National president Kevin Riutzel has some advice for your next few days:

Are you excited?? Nervous??? A mess????? You should be!!!! You’ve put so much time, money, and effort into trying to get to the next stage of this medical marathon, and it really is draining. However, take a moment to realize YOU’VE MADE IT THROUGH MEDICAL SCHOOL!!!!!!!! That is something you can always look back on and say, “Wow. I really can do anything.”

As you wait for the golden e-mail/notification that lets you know where you will live for the next 3+ years of your life, please go into match day satiated with knowledge that you will be a resident physician. Period. The match system can sometimes set people up for disappointment on match day should they not get their #1 pick. If you don’t get your #1 pick, great!! You still matched!!! Look forward to the fact that starting July, you will be making decisions as part of a team that can truly heal people – people who are looking to you for help and guidance at possibly their bleakest hour.

As part of the APAMSA family, please don’t ever hesitate to reach out to me for tips regarding intern year or if you just need a place to crash when you visit Disneyland. Again, congrats on all your hard work and stand proud of your achievements, doctor!!!!

Kevin Riutzel
Former National APAMSA President

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Wherever you go and whatever you do, we wish you the best of luck!
Our former APAMSA National vice president would like to wish you all well:

Congratulations to you all for being done with interviews and submitting your rank lists! As you all mentally prepare for Match Day, I want you to know that even though you may not feel it right now, that everything that will happen on Match Day and after happens for a reason. I will admit at this time last year, I was feeling very nervous simply not knowing what to expect. I still vividly remember waking up on Match Day not knowing if I was going to be in the South, Northeast, West Coast, or Midwest for residency. But looking back on it almost one year later as I’ve had the chance to settle in and bond with my fellow residents, I realize that it was meant to be that I ended up at UMiami for residency even though I did not feel that way at the time. So my two cents to you all as you anxiously await Match Day is to keep your mind off of Match Day as much as possible; the rank list is in so do something you enjoy whether it’s going out for a run, watching Netflix or enjoying Mardi Gras (as a former NOLA resident) to keep your mind off of the rank list since you can’t change anything! Also just try to keep things in perspective, while it’s a big step, it’s not the end all of the world, residency will fly by fast and next thing you know you’ll be applying for fellowship or a job. And most importantly, please enjoy every moment of 4th year! As someone going through intern year, appreciate the free time and make the most of this time to pursue something out of your life bucket list–whether it’s traveling abroad or trying to run a marathon or doing a cross country road trip through every state, you won’t have this kind of time for quite awhile!

You all will do great and I truly wish you all the best in the next phase of your journey!

Robert Hsu
Former National APAMSA Vice President

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It looks like you’re at the point in your career where you may be entering the Match this year! National APAMSA would like to pass on a message from an alumni that has been in your shoes –

Congratulations on entering the Match! It is a humbling and exciting time of your life and it feels like your entire life led up to this decision. Just remember, no matter where you go and what you do, you will have the honor of being part of many individual’s most vulnerable situations and have the chance to help make a difference. You will do great in any program as long as you open your arms and heart to everyone around you. Around this time last year, I felt a sense of calm after having gone through years of learning and sacrifices with tears and smiles. You will be happy, too. Remember to congratulate your friends, give people hugs, and smile: you’re going to be a doctor! Even if your parents may or may not understand, they are proud. You are amazing! Have a lovely Match Day and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.

Warm regards,

Lindy Zhang, MD

Pediatric Resident, PGY-1
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
APAMSA Region I Director 2014-2015

APAMSA Global Health March Spotlight

Here is our first APAMSA Global Health Spotlight. For the month of March, we would like to feature our member, Taman Hoang, and her experiences with global health.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Tâm An Thị Hoàng, although I go by Taman. I was born in Saigon, Vietnam, and immigrated to the United States when I was four years old. I grew up with two distinctively different cultures: Vietnamese and American. Though my mother did incorporate some “American” ideas into my upbringing, she always insisted that I remain true to my roots. It was for that reason that I went back to Vietnam in my teenage years to volunteer and to explore my origins. My travels to Vietnam inspired other trips to different parts of the world, from Panama to Nepal and sparked my interest in global health. After I graduated from UC Berkeley, I then pursued an MS in Global Medicine at USC where I was given the chance to go abroad to Panama and work in acute primary care clinics for the indigenous populations there. Shortly after, I was accepted into UC Davis School of Medicine. Before I began medical school, I had the honor of being accepted into the 2015 Good Samaritan Medical and Dental Ministry (GSMDM) cohort and was able to revisit my homeland. I felt I had come full circle, because it was one of my initial trips to Vietnam that drove my desire to go into medicine. I am currently a second year medical student at UCDSOM and have continued my love for global medicine by being on the Nepal 2016 team that journeyed to Kathmandu and some of the remote mountainous villages of Nepal last June.

Can you tell us more about your experience in Cao Bang, Vietnam? How did you find out about this opportunity?
Word of mouth was how I came to join the 2015 GSMDM group. A good friend of mine, Donna Tran, did a GSMDM mission a few years back, and it was through her encouragement and amazing stories that spurred me to apply.

How were you able to fund your trip?
At the time that I applied and accepted into the cohort, I had several tutoring jobs. I worked during the week and many weekends, while scheduling around our fundraisers for the mission. While it was a challenge to save money for the trip and pay my current living expenses, being able to fund myself taught me a lot about time management and how to be just a bit more frugal with my spending.

What was one specific experience during your trip that really stuck with you?
I was in Cao Bang, Vietnam when I met Linh with her bright yellow t-shirt, and her brighter smile. Cao Bang is a northern region of Vietnam that is isolated by mountains. Like many other rural regions of Vietnam, there was a severe shortage of doctors in the area. I had been taking patient histories for GSMDM (Good Samaritan Medical and Dental Ministry) when she entered our mobile clinic and took her turn in the seat across from me. She was twenty-four years old, and blind. Linh had wanted to be a teacher before she lost her sight due to a brain tumor that was removed too late. During our patient interview, I remarked that she had a lovely smile. “Thank you. I believe that my smile reflects how I’ve chosen to look at life,” was her response. Patients like Linh are the reason that I have chosen to pursue a career in primary health care.

What was the most difficult part of your trip?
One of the most heartbreaking things about any medical mission is that you cannot help everyone. There are cases that will always break your heart, and it was the forced acceptance of this that was difficult. Like in the case of Linh, there was nothing more we could do for her. But I think the reality of these missions is that it is not about what you can give to the people of this or that country, but what you learn from them by being there. Every time I go on these medical missions, I always feel like I should have given more, and at the same time, I feel like I received so much more than what I did give. I get the privilege of listening to these people’s stories and carrying with me as I go onward in my journey in medicine, and no matter how difficult it is to listen to some of their stories and realize that you can’t save everyone—every heartbreak is still worth the trip.

What draws you to Global Health?
The multidimensional aspect of global health is one of my favorite aspects of this field of medicine. Global health is all about making connections and learning from one another. In particular, I enjoy seeing different health systems all over the world and the cultural and socioeconomic factors that affect health in different countries.

Do you have any advice for other students interested in Global Health?
You learn in Global Health that healthcare is truly interdisciplinary. When you immerse yourself in it, don’t view it from the lens of a hierarchy. No one person runs the show, but everything about it is a team effort and a systems based approach. Learn about other professions and see what their impact may be on health and health delivery. And always, be humble and open to input and ideals from a wide spectrum of professionals.

2017 Region VIII Conference Recap

APAMSA’s Region VIII Conference was hosted by Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) on February 25, 2017 at OHSU’s Collaborative Life Sciences Building. The conference opened with an introduction from the 2016 – 2017 region VIII co-directors, KieuYen Luu, Phuong-Vy Le, and Quang Truong followed by a brief background about national APAMSA given by Michelle Chen, APAMSA’s External Vice President. The keynote address was given by Joe Enlet, the senior policy liaison for the Multnomah County Health Department. Speaking about the healthcare disparities that are present in underrepresented ethnic communities in the state of Oregon, Joe emphasized the disparities to the Pacific Islander communities.

The first breakout session followed the keynote address and attendees attended one of the three workshops offered: Kathy Wai representing the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) and held a workshop on how to extend healthcare to Oregonians who were previously denied access; Dr. Lynne Shinto held a workshop speaking about the access and care of alternative medicine; Lahaina Maylani Phillip gave a talk about her experiences with accessing healthcare as a Micronesian American.

During lunch, there were posters being presented by Lee Nguyen, Karen Leung, and Tuong Pham from the University of California, Davis and Jonathan Sisley from Oregon State University. There was also a tabling event from the sponsors of this year’s region VIII conference, which included APANO, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), OHSU’s Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, Radiation Medicine, OHSU Center for Inclusion and Diversity, and the United States Navy.

The second breakout session began after lunch. Joe Enlet led a workshop on relational strategies for health advocacy and policy change where he gave an introduction on the advocacy work that is being done in Oregon to benefit the APIA community. Dr. Jessica Guh gave a lecture on the Asian Minority Myth Model and how it affects the advancement of Asian Americans in the workforce. Our final workshop was a panel from Dr. Jessica Guh, Joe Enlet, and Michelle Chen. The purpose of the panel was to provide an open discussion to attendees on the outlooks of the future of healthcare policies and how it will affect the APIA community. The conference concluded with special thanks to our sponsors and speakers.

Not only did the conference provided attendees a better understanding of the needs of the APIA community, it also connect providers, community members, medical, undergraduates, and high school students from across Region VIII to one another. Students from University of Washington, UC Davis, Lewis & Clark, Portland State University, OHSU and Century High School were represented. Many ideas were exchanged on how to better represent and serve our communities. Once again Region VIII would like to thank Oregon Health Science University along with the many donors previously mentioned for their support!

Click here to see more photos!

2017 Region V Conference Recap

On February 4th, 2017, the APAMSA region V conference was held at Case Western Reserve University. The conference was sponsored by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and also featured a talk from the U.S Navy. With over forty medical students from five different schools in Ohio and Michigan, there was a lot of diversity among the audience. We had talks from different speakers on population health and screening of Asian American populations, research mentorship, communication with cultural or language differences, and more. During the conference, students were engaged in learning or discussing about health issues among the Asian American population and how to provide better care for them. At the end of the conference, dinner was served and additional food and drinks were offered at a local bar.

Why Mental Health research is important for Asians

Hey guys,

My name is David Yang and I am a second year at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. I am also your APAMSA Mental Health co-Chair! I am running an anonymous survey focused on studying the prevalence of Asian American medical students. Since we released this survey a couple weeks ago, I have gotten a lot of questions on why I am doing this. We are closing the survey Wednesday, March 8, 2016! In the hopes that you’ll understand my inspiration for running this survey, I’ve laid out my reasons below.

I first became interested in mental health during college after a friend of mine talked to me about her experience with our school’s mental health services and the pressures she got from her relatives to succeed academically. I started reading about depression and suicide rates amongst college students. In the years since, I became more involved in understanding how the unique experiences of Asians living in America have contributed to our mental health – from how academic stress contributes to depression in Asian American students to the effect of our parents’ immigration history on our mental health to the stigma that kept our communities from talking about mental health and/or neuropsychiatric conditions.

When I entered medical school, I expected to find other Asian Americans who were interested in mental health. While I have connected with so many people who feel as strongly as I do about this issue, I found the research to be lacking. There is such a large focus on the mental well-being of medical students. Why did I only find three papers that reported on depression of Asian American medical students? Since Asian Americans constitute a significant portion of the medical student population, are there programs that medical schools can implement to provide culturally competent mental health care to us?

These two big questions led me to this survey. How can we talk about our mental health without trying to understand the problem? The results of this survey will continue the conversation that was started at last year’s National APAMSA Conference on mental health in the Asian American community. It will give all of us research to better transform our schools and our future practice. And I hope it will inspire you to answer your own questions about mental health in our community!

Please click here to access the survey.

Thanks again for filling out this survey!

2017 Hepatitis Screening and Educational Grant Recipients

National APAMSA is pleased to announce the following 2017 Hepatitis Screening and Educational Grant Recipients: 
 
Hepatitis Screening Grants
Albany Medical College
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Drexel University College of Medicine 
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC) at Jefferson University
University of South Florida- Morsani College of Medicine
UC Davis School of Medicine
UC Irvine School of Medicine
Weill Cornell Medical College
 
Educational Grant Recipients
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Texas A&M College of Medicine

We wish all the APAMSA chapters much success on their hepatitis initiatives. We look forward to learning about their work at the 2017 National APAMSA Hepatitis B & C Conference in Washington, DC!

We encourage chapters to apply for hepatitis education grants. Applications are due 4 weeks prior to the event and can be found at hepatitis.apamsa.org/grants.

The National APAMSA Hepatitis Project is generously supported by Gilead Sciences, The Chinese American Medical Society, and The Asian Health Foundation.