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Name: Katie Hsih
Job: Medical Student
Current City: Baltimore
School: Princeton - Class of 2010
Major: Operations Research & Financial Engineering
I took a rather nontraditional path to medicine. I grew up in the SF bay area and left CA in 2010 for college. At Princeton, I studied Operations Research & Financial Engineering and minored in both Global Health & Health Policy and Engineering Biology. My classes ranged from financial modeling to organic chemistry to philosophy to dance. While I had always intended to shape a career in healthcare, I wanted my undergraduate experience to be diverse and expose me to fields of knowledge that I may not have the opportunity to study during medical training. I was and still am convinced that it is only with interdisciplinary training that one can develop the holistic perspectives necessary for problem solving in the real world.
After I graduated, I spent a year working in and out of rural Sierra Leone working with a small community-based global health NGO on a service fellowship. This was a really challenging and eye opening experience. I learned first hand what it is like to run an aid organization from the ground up, gained greater understanding of how non-medical problems significantly impact community health, and realized the ambiguous nature of what is right or wrong in the arena of aid and development. Working in this environment also pushed me to confront and recognize several of my own strengths and weaknesses.
After my fellowship year, I moved to England to study medical anthropology at the University of Oxford as a Weidenfeld Scholar. Pursuing research in the medical humanities reinforced my appreciation for a qualitative understanding of healthcare delivery and the patient experience. Living in Europe also gave me a glimpse of what it is like to truly be a part of the global community, which I found to be quite different from living in America. Being at Oxford showed me different styles of academic instruction and research, while introducing me to an incredibly diverse student community.
I am currently a medical student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. I am not sure how my career will pan out, but I hope for it to combine clinical work and research, move between different fields and professions, and perhaps even dabble a bit into entrepreneurship.
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