Korean Department, Class of 2016
What are you doing now?
I am an anesthesiology resident at USC.
What inspired you to join VHIO?
My passion for helping out the limited English proficiency community inspired me to join VHIO. Knowing what it was like to struggle with the language barrier from my personal experiences, I decided to join VHIO to become a health interpreter for the Korean community. Through VHIO, I found my interest in medicine and am currently pursuing my career in medicine. I am glad I made the decision to join VHIO at Cal.
Has your experience in VHIO impacted your life today?
Yes. The health interpreting experiences that I obtained through VHIO have helped me serve Korean-speaking patients when I see them at the hospital these days. Patients really appreciate seeing physicians who speak their native languages, especially those of them who have limited English proficiency. I feel grateful that I am now able to help these patients more as a physician compared to my role as an interpreter in the past.
What’s something memorable about your experience in VHIO?
My most memorable interpretation experience was when I interpreted for a Korean patient diagnosed with breast cancer. Although I was just an interpreter trying to help the patient understand her disease and the resources available for cancer patients, I felt that I was able to empower the patient by allowing her to understand the resources that are available to her in order to fight back and potentially overcome cancer. I also enjoyed doing outreach activities in Koreatown in Oakland to advertise VHIO's free health interpreter services. In terms of VHIO's socials, I remember that the Korean department was quite active in designing department hoodies and organizing socials. I still remember that the Tahoe trip was amazing and full of fun!
What advice would you give current VHIO members?
Regardless of what your end goal is, pursue what you are passionate about. I know you are constantly busy studying at Berkeley but I strongly recommend you to find time to explore what you are interested in. Also, make sure to have tons of fun! Feel free to reach out to me if any questions.