Spotlight: David Tai

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Name: David Tai
Major: Biomedical Engineering & Plan II Honors
HCMP Role: Chairman
Classification: Junior
Associations: Engineering Honors, APAC Signature Events, GLO Conference Director

Describe a shadowing experience that has impacted you the most. 
When I was an intern, I wanted to see every cool surgery I could schedule. Neurosurgery, heart surgery, birth – you name it. Although I spend quality time in the ER, I now realize I didn’t truly understand what was happening around me. Ultimately the most impact shadowing experience I had on an unexpected Thursday morning. I remember scheduling clinical for neurology, only expecting regular check-up with patient-doctor interactions. After the first few patients, I realized post-checkups were routine: how have you been? Have you been taking your prescribed medications? How are you feeling? At first it seemed mundane, but I distinctly remember the touching moment when I saw one patient’s mom walk in. Earlier in the month, her daughter had brain surgery and the chances of success were low. Walking into the room, the mother was overwhelmed with emotion from her daughter’s survival she broke into tears to hug and thank the doctor. Simple moments like these keep inspiring me to become a doctor.

How has HCMP benefited your professional or individual goals?
I can personally attest to the benefits that HCMP gave me when I got into an early acceptance top 20 medical school program in NYC. Without the immense shadowing experiences I got shadowing as an Intern, I would have never gotten a broader understanding of medicine and found my inspiration to become a doctor. When I first started shadowing I thought of it more as a “check list,” but as I saw more doctors during my rotations I realized how amazing and huge impact these people make.

What has been your favorite aspect of HCMP?
If you asked me this question before I joined HCMP, I would have preemptively answered the shadowing experiences. I would have never guessed that my favorite aspect of HCMP would be the amazing friends I would meet. Since joining my freshman year, it was refreshing to find a close knit group of highly determined pre-med students that I could get to know on a personal level outside of school. Although I was intimidated when I first joined as an Intern, I eventually found great friends who shared the same struggles of being pre-med (GPA, MCAT, volunteering, shadowing – you name it). I’ve really have grown to value the fact that every single person knows everyone else in the organization. Sometimes it’s easy to be lost in a place as large as UT, but HCMP is a place I’ve found to call my second home.