Spotlight: Joanna Chyu

Name: Joanna Chyu

Major: Biochemistry and Plan II Honors

HCMP Role: Intern

Classification: Senior

Other Associations: Natural Sciences Council, Spoon University, PLUS, TA, The Project, Emancipet on Campus

Describe a shadowing experience that has impacted you the most.

I remember during my EMS ride along, we went to a fancy hotel to pick up a homeless man who was reportedly suffering from an asthma attack while being held by police for trespassing on hotel grounds. The stark switch from walking through gleaming chandeliers and leather seating areas to being face-to-face with a man in a torn white T-shirt was shocking. It made me question multiple things, such as how police would have responded if someone who looked and dressed like me were found on the hotel grounds, and whether I’d be detained for “trespassing.” It’s a tricky situation of social roles and race for sure, and showed me how related medicine is to such factors, as well as the responsibility that health care providers have to be impartial to their patients. I even wrote a poem about it afterward to process my feelings.

How has HCMP benefited your professional or individual goals?

HCMP has broadened my view of the medical field, as cliche as that sounds. It’s shown me just how much goes into coordinating the care of even a single patient, or of the health of a community, for that matter. I had always wanted to gain more views of medicine, such as the public health sector and the role of Nurse Practitioners and paramedics in working with physicians, and HCMP has been tremendously helpful in providing those opportunities. HCMP has also given me clarity into what role I hope to play as a future physician in my corner of the medical field.

What has been your favorite aspect of HCMP?

Getting to meet people of diverse roles and backgrounds (both socio-economically and educationally) in the medical field, as well as connecting with other pre-med students with interesting views of medicine and life in general.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Cooking, looking up recipes, working out, biking, running, writing poetry, sketching, exploring Austin thrift stores and cool events, watching movies alone, reading, hanging out with friends and family.