Spotlight: Melissa Huynh

DSC_9331Name: Melissa Huynh
Major: Biochemistry
HCMP Role: Director of Admissions
Classification: Senior
Associations: Natural Sciences Council, Freshman Research Initiative

Describe a shadowing experience that has impacted you the most.
I was shadowing an ophthalmologist in clinic one day. The typical work flow in this office was quick; a doctor might meet with a patient for perhaps only 10-15 minutes. The day that I was shadowing, a patient and his wife stopped by for his post-operative appointment after a complicated eye surgery. What should have been a routine procedure turned complicated and the doctor and patients were worried that the husband was going to lose vision in his eye. The doctor knew that in the aftermath of this surgery, the situation demanded sensitivity and compassion. Despite an overwhelming work load, I admired how the ophthalmologist took the time to sit with this couple to talk about their future and the possibilities of the husband being blind in one eye. The reason why this experience is so important to me is that I saw the doctor I was shadowing as not only a technical expert of medicine, but also a sincere teacher, educating the husband on the real possibilities of his current condition. I believe that communication skills are pivotal to being a medical professional, and this experience definitely highlights this notion.

How has HCMP benefited your professional or individual goals?
Before I joined HCMP, I actually was not 100% sure that I wanted to be a doctor. I had my reservations about work-life balance issues and an additional commitment to an extra four years of school. When I interviewed for HCMP, I was very honest about how important it was for me to be educated in my decision to pursue healthcare and that I believed HCMP was the perfect platform for my decision. It turned out better than I expected; having the opportunity to shadow dozens of specialties and conversing with physicians from every stage of a physician’s career (meeting medical students, interns, residents, and attendings) solidified my desire to go to medical school, and I’m actually interviewing right now [Fall 2015]!

What has been your favorite aspect of HCMP?
Definitely the people. Everyone in HCMP is very encouraging and wants to see that you achieve the full potential of your shadowing experiences.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my downtime, I like to take pictures or peruse Pinterest for DIY ideas. I guess I’m also one of those stereotypical Pinterest-ers who have a dozen succulents and cacti on my windowsill.