Dorothy Nguyen is a 4th year Human Biology and Society major with a minor in Food Studies. She plans to get her masters in Public Health with a focus in Nutrition and pair her degree with an accompanying degree in dietetics so that she can work on both the community and individual levels of nutrition. When she’s not busy killing the game as Campaigns Director, she loves to cook. She shares her passion for cooking as well as her recipes on her Instagram page “Hangry Grandmas”!
Over the past three years, GlobeMed has done an incredible amount in order to push me out of my comfort zone. From allowing me to speak my mind during our weekly ghU sessions to enabling me to grow as a leader, my journey in GlobeMed has significantly shaped the path that I want to follow after I graduate this spring (yikes!)
Upon joining GlobeMed, I was convinced that I was going to work in the health care field as some type of provider – whether it was as an optometrist, pharmacist, or some other “-ist” that allowed me to work with people without having to go through the horrors of medical school. I took all the classes required, volunteered at all the clinics I could, and did everything that I thought I was supposed to do in order to boost my resume. However, in each new volunteer role, I found that there was something missing. While I was working with people and checking off all the boxes for grad school, I was not challenging myself. Yes the classes were difficult, but at the end of the day, I found that all that I was doing was regurgitating information and repeating the same dull procedures over and over again. My routines became monotonous and I found that the parts of the week that I looked forward to most, were GlobeMed meetings. I couldn’t wait to find out what the ghU topic of the day was and I craved for the critical discussions that accompanied ghU. Every week was a new learning experience that pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to think about various topics from differing perspectives.
Over time, I realized that the critical thought and social analyses that accompanied GlobeMed meetings were what I was looking for in all of my volunteer and club experiences. I wanted a space where I could express my opinions and work to create some type of difference. Although I had a similar opportunity to do this as a healthcare practitioner, GlobeMed taught me to think on a much larger scale and to question the reason why certain health inequalities exist in the first place. I found myself turning away from wanting to provide direct healthcare services, to instead dedicating myself to attempting to change some of the inequalities that exist.
When I first came to this decision, I was definitely terrified and daunted – how would I even begin tackling these issues? How would I tell my parents that optometry school just isn’t for me? What kind of job would I be able to get in the public health field? While I still don’t know all of the answers to these questions, I do know that GlobeMed has enabled me to look at the world from a new and critical perspective. Rather than blindly following the path that I previously believed was laid out for me, my experiences in GlobeMed have given me the confidence to pursue what I am passionate about and I am truly excited (and still slightly terrified, to be honest) to see what is in store for me in the future.