Voices of the Next Generation

When Malinda Phommachak and Madeline Locke began working on their project for BHS 496: Fieldwork in Health taught by Mabel Ezeonwu, they chose to interview several of their fellow students who are planning to pursue "health related careers."  Malinda and Madeline met with Madeleine Do, Roxana Mogharrabin, Brandon San, Van Nguyen, and Saado Jama.  Madeline and Malinda felt that sharing the journeys of those they interviewed would empower others to pursue their dreams.  The article, Voices of the Next Generation Public Health Leaders on Campusincludes what kept students motivated throughout their studies, their future plans, and why they have chosen their path.

Madeline and Malinda shared their stories with us.

madeline lockeMy name is Madeline and I am double majoring in health studies and Biology. After graduation I plan on attending graduate school for a PhD in neuroscience. I chose the health studies major because I get to learn about the human aspect of conducting research and how to interpret research results based off of an individuals background. I was originally pre nursing and realized my senior year that nursing wasn’t my passion and that it was more of a plan I had made for myself and that my dream was really to continue learning about what I am passionate about (neuroscience). I believe it is important to be happy in life and to focus on your happiness at a job rather than the benefits of a job. 

malinda-phommachack-(1).jpgMalinda is currently a senior majoring in Health Studies. With being a first-generation college student and pursuing a career in medicine, she said that “everything [she] does and has achieved reflects [her] parents and family.” As she finishes her last quarter at UWB and moves forward toward her passion in helping children in underserved communities, as well as her love for patient interpersonal relationships, that’s what keeps her motivated to not only graduate now, but to continue onto graduate school. As post-graduation approaches, she plans on taking a break. She said “being able to travel and experience cultures from around the world has always been a goal of [hers]. Being southeast Asian-American, [she] has lost some of the culture and traditions [her] parents have taught [her], so being able to travel back to where [her] parents grew up would be the first-place [she] starts.” During her time-off, she will also be able to manage study preparations for the MCAT, take the test, and apply next cycle. As for working, she will be gaining a nursing assistances certification to be able to continue practicing her interpersonal skills ­­­with patients. Malinda has always aspired to be a physician. She mentions that “it was not until [she] started volunteering at Swedish Medical Center in the Greater Seattle Area that solidified that career choice.” She wants to specialize in either Family Medicine or Pediatrics. With medical schools not requiring a specific degree, she choose to step out of her comfort of thinking she needed only a STEM major and took it up herself to explore her options at UWB. That is when she found that the Health Studies major was a better fit for her. She said that “[she] enjoyed being able to take a break from the STEM classes and expand [her] learning on bio-social-ecological factors that influence health, health equity, and social justice at both individual and population levels.” With pursuing a career as a physician, Malinda will have an additional 4 years in medical school and depending on the residency and fellowship, another 3-7 years.