Student Spotlight - Kathleen Wong

Student Spotlight: Kathleen Wong

Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2024

  • AZ - Glendale
"My experiences showed me how important it was to have a primary care doctor and drove me to pursue a career in which I could promote preventative care... Unsurprisingly, I fell in love with Family Medicine and never looked back."
Kathleen Wong, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, 2024

Name: Kathleen Wong 

Program/Year: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2024 (OMM Scholar)

Hometown: Alameda, California

Undergraduate degree (college/university and degree earned): UC San Diego, General Biology 

What inspired you to pursue a healthcare career? 

A close family member of mine was diagnosed late with metastatic cancer. My experiences showed me how important it was to have a primary care doctor and drove me to pursue a career in which I could promote preventative care. Personality-wise, I also love getting to know people and building long-lasting relationships. Unsurprisingly, I fell in love with Family Medicine and never looked back. 

How did your background and history factor into your career choice? 

I’m the first in my family to pursue a career in the healthcare field. My Mom actually discouraged me from trying to become a doctor when she found out (she thought it would be too stressful, and she wasn’t wrong!). I found my mentor by scribing at a small clinic. He showed me how a positive relationship with your patients can make a real difference in their lives. I also come from a lower-income background which drove me to volunteer and get involved with community service and working with underserved communities.

Why did you decide to attend Ƶ?

I liked that Ƶ’s anatomy experience involved cadaver dissection. I was also accustomed to large universities because of my undergraduate university. Ƶ, of course, has a larger class. I honestly hoped to “fly under the radar” in medical school, but I ended up doing the complete opposite. I was able to take advantage of the resources and support available to become the student government vice president, family medicine club vice president, mentor, a guest speaker for multiple events, OMM scholar and part of the first class to receive an applied master’s degree in osteopathic education. It’s funny how when you find your passion, you get more and more involved.

What about a Ƶ education do you want to carry forward in your career? 

I’ve learned that when there’s a will, there’s a way, and there’s someone out there who wants to help you get there. Some of the Ƶ faculty members have become my close friends. I still remember when I was stressed out before giving a lecture and a faculty member told me “You know, it’s okay to just be yourself.” It’s exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. I treasure my relationship with them. I hope to carry my support system forward with me in my career. I’ve also learned that there are a lot of avenues that call for improvement and change, and that I have the power and voice to make that change for the generations that come after me.

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