Image of Carol in whitecoat and blue graphic with text for Voices of Making Waves
Career Development and Success | Stories

Making Waves in Healthcare: Adjusting Patient Care in Real-Time

by Bonnie Shea

Voices of Making Waves: Meet Carol

Part of the ‘7th Wave’ of students in the then Making Waves Education Program, Carol T. become interested in the combination of the sciences and human rights at an early age.

“While I was born in the U.S., I grew up bilingual and learned about my family’s harrowing experiences as Vietnam War boat refugees and the lack of health care in developing Southeast Asian countries,” she shares.

“Growing up in Richmond, California, I also saw the consequences of social inequities on minority health in my community, such as gun violence and high rates of chronic diseases.”

Carol’s interest quickly grew into passion. She is now a first-year internal medicine resident physician at Highland Hospital in Oakland after earning her bachelor’s degree in the history of science at Harvard University and Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of California, San Francisco.

Carol holding UCSF flag in graduation attire
Carol during her medical school graduation from UCSF.

“Making Waves prepared me for the challenges of college and medical school. The mentorship and resources fostered my academic potential, and the supportive community encouraged and inspired me, and made me proud of the community I come from,” she says.

Carol speaking with colleague at hospital
Carol (pictured left) speaking with a colleague.

When it comes to the constantly evolving challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Carol says her experiences also prepared her for quickly digesting and assessing new data and effectively adjusting patient care in real-time.

“It was heartbreaking to watch several of my patients, who had not been vaccinated as a result of misinformation, die from COVID despite getting all available interventions,” she shares. “I am proud of the times that patients went on to get the vaccine after I counseled them on its importance and safety data.”

Looking towards the future, Carol is eager to start an advanced residency next year at UCSF to become a diagnostic radiologist, while continuing to recycle her success and mentor others.

“I am passionate about mentoring younger Wave-Makers, first-generation to college, and other underrepresented minorities to pursue STEM and medicine if that is their dream,” she says.

This originally appeared in the Making Waves Foundation 2020-21 Impact Report as a part of a feature on Making Waves alumni modeling empathy in providing patient care during the pandemic and beyond.

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