Name: Mackenzie Phan
Year of Study: Junior
Major: Public Health-Global Health
Hometown: Lacey, WA
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am currently a third year studying Public Health-Global Health. Born and raised in Lacey, WA. I am the first in my family to go to college and intend to attend medical school after my time here at UW. Some of my involvements on campus are Phi Delta Epsilon Pre-Medical Fraternity, the Vietnamese Student Association, and the Undergraduate Academic Advising Office. I am also involved in research at UW Medicine and work as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Seattle Children’s Hospital. In my free time, I like to go plant shopping, thrift, and explore cute brunch spots with my friends. I am interested in helping marginalized immigrant communities navigate the American healthcare system and looking at medicine through a public health lens.
Why did you choose to pursue a major in Public Health-Global Health?
I chose to major in Public Health-Global Health because I honestly could not envision myself thriving or being happy in any other major here at UW. The UWSPH/DGH faculty and course curriculum offers me a breadth of knowledge and critical thinking skills that are applicable to both my personal and professional life. As an aspiring physician, I believe that having a public health background will aid me in better serving my patients in the future and my global health background will make me understand medicine beyond the borders of the U.S.
What has been most valuable about your Global Health coursework/learning thus far?
The most valuable thing that I have gained from my Global Health coursework is being exposed to a more broad and more high-level view of healthcare around the world. As someone who was born and raised here, I had a very limited understanding of health systems and problems that goes beyond the U.S. As a child of immigrant refugees to this country, I am grateful that I had an opportunity in class to learn about healthcare in my parent’s home country and adjacent Southeast Asian countries. But, also these classes gave me the chance to reflect back on my own privileges and implicit bias about countries overseas.
What are your professional goals?
My long-term professional goal is to become a practicing physician, specifically hoping to do community-level work and serve the underserved immigrant community that I came from. I also do foresee myself getting a Master's in Public Health sometime in my professional and academic career. I would like to potentially use both my MD and MPH background to help facilitate policies that address the intersectionality of quality and affordability of healthcare for marginalized families.
Please share your recommendation for prospective and/or current undergraduate students on ways in which they may maximize their experience in Global Health.
My advice to current and prospective DGH students is to utilize and maximize what the department provides. The faculty members are all great people to familiarize yourself with because they are all so willing to help us students. They will connect you with the correct people, and the right resources/opportunities. From my time involved with the department, I have learned that the faculty members really want to interact with us undergraduate students and want to have our voices included in any capacity possible.