Yingchao Zhong is currently a MD/PhD candidate in Biostatistics at the University of Michigan Medical School. Her current research uses data driven approaches to better understand wellness and health.
CPHC Coordinator 2010-2011, Co-Director 2011-2012
Greetings VHIO members,
Most of you have not met me, but I was one of the co-directors with Edna Cheung in 2012. Even many years after graduating from Berkeley, VHIO remains one of my favorite part of my Cal experience.
I joined SFHBC as a freshman in college. I remember I was walking out of Chem1A in Pimentel, and happened to glance at an SFHBC recruitment flyer. At the bottom of the flyer was the application deadline, which unfortunately was yesterday! I was so excited about SFHBC’s mission that I applied anyway, (luckily) got accepted, and the rest is history. I was a Mandarin interpreter, then later CPHC co-coordinator, then co-director with Edna. I got to witness the growth of SFHBC, the transition to VHIO, VHIO’s first years, and now it’s so good to see VHIO’s continuous growth and presence at Cal and the Bay Area.
The year Edna and I co-directed VHIO was the first year after the transition from SFHBC. I remember many discussions around our new identity, and the different projects we’d now like to pursue. Because we were now larger than a Hepatitis B campaign partner, we explored different health areas (e.g. end of life care, general health fairs, etc), different languages (at that time, Spanish, Cambodian, and Tagalog!), added translation work on top of interpretation work, and looked for ways to continue improving the quality of our interpretation. At that time, we weren’t even sure what VHIO was going to look like in a year, so we are so proud now that VHIO is doing well, and we applaud your efforts in providing such great service to the community.
After Berkeley, I left for the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor to pursue an MD/PhD. U of M’s med school (UMMS) follows a fairly traditional MSTP curriculum, so after two years of med school, I have been immersed in research (my PhD field is Biostatistics). I have worked on a number of areas, but I mostly focus on survival analysis, kidney transplant outcomes, and personalized medicine methods (more specifically dynamic treatment regimens). I plan on defending and returning to medical school in the upcoming year. During my time at UMMS, I was involved with setting up health fairs for the Asian population in southeastern Michigan. I was also involved with establishing a Medicine in Mandarin course for medical students. Although I didn’t necessarily plan on continuing in language access and advocacy, I definitely felt that the experience in VHIO made me a suitable candidate for some of these roles. So in many ways, you may find that your VHIO experiences and expertise will follow you for a while!
I invite anyone to reach out to me with any questions about med school, research, MSTPs, or anything else that stood out to you. I am not really one to give advice, except to say that I’ve visited Berkeley’s campus a few times since graduating, and it has always brought back very fond memories. Please enjoy your time on this idyllic and high energy campus, and best of luck to all of you and your future endeavors.