Brief overview of your life: I was born in a small town in Zhejiang, China. My family moved to Shanghai when I was two years old, then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was 7 years old where I experienced the meaning of real winter. My parents must have prophetically understood the term “winter is coming” because we moved to San Diego when I was 10 and my family has not left since. I did my undergrad at UC Berkeley (go Bears!) where I majored in molecular & cell biology (neurobiology concentration), and minored in English Lit. I studied abroad for a summer in England where I climbed chapel roofs at Cambridge and stood on the real Platform 9 3/4. After graduation, I worked in a clinical neuroscience lab at UCSD studying Alzheimer’s disease. I spent the last 4 years at UAB school of medicine in Birmingham, AL which turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. However, I’m glad I’m back to California for residency because ultimately this is my home.
Interesting factoid about yourself (or past self): I’m a descendant of Confucius on my mom’s side. Crossing my fingers that some of the wisdom genes have not diluted in the last… 2000 years.
Why you chose Peds Neuro: I never guessed that I would do pediatrics prior to med school, but I soon learned that taking care of children is a true privilege. There are few fields out there even in medicine where preventative medicine, working with families and advocating for their well-being can have lasting impacts on a patient’s life. Neuro is both the science of how our bodies work as a cohesive unit and an exploration of the various facets of the human experience. Combining the two was a no brainer… ;)
Why you chose UCSD and why it was the right choice for you: I loved my training at a free standing hospital at UAB, and wanted to be in a similar environment during residency. I also wanted to be somewhere that would be open to new ideas and willing to support resident endeavors without instilling a rigid hierarchal structure of learning. It was important to me that my co-residents, the faculty, and any potential future mentors had mutual respect and could discuss medicine and life in general as they are without any pretension.
What you like doing in San Diego and outside the hospital: On most days, I try to spend quality time with my family and friends in and outside of medicine. When I have more time, I mix music and try to stay active via running, yoga, swimming and not wasting my gym membership as well as attend local concerts/shows, and eating my way through SD which can take a while.
Your career plans: Pediatric neurology (not sure if I will do an additional fellowship) with special interests in advocacy, education and writing.