Choi Chung, RPh, BSc Pharm
One of our values that we believe in is helping patients make informed decisions through health promotion and education. One of our aims with this interview series is to bring awareness to the different healthcare professionals and health advocates around the world and how they’re actively involved in bettering the lives of others!
We were able to have the opportunity to interview Vivian Yang, a second year family resident from California! Check out the interview below as she talks more about her profession and how she’s actively involved in health advocacy!
#1 First off, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed Vivian. Tell us a bit about yourself!
Thanks for reaching out. I am always excited to talk about health advocacy and healthy living.
A little about me, I was raised in Chicago, IL, but the palm trees and Pacific ocean were calling, and I moved to Southern California for my formal education: Bachelor’s of Science, Biology and Microbiology from California Institute of Technology and Doctorate of Medicine from University of California, Irvine. I am now a second year family medicine resident (PGY-2) at Riverside University Health Systems, which is a county hospital program in Riverside County (one of the largest by area counties in the state of California).
Outside of medicine, I enjoy keeping a healthy active lifestyle, much like what I prescribe for my patients. Specifically, I try new vegetarian dishes, hike on the weekly and sweat on the daily, and play with my dogs every chance I get.
#2 What was it that drew you into the field of family medicine?
To be honest, I wasn’t initially drawn to family medicine. Maybe it was a combination of my Asian parents and me overestimating my love of being a sub-specialist that drew me to a surgical subspecialty like ophthalmology or dermatology. When it came time to make a rank list for the Match, however, I looked back on my MS3 year and realized I loved a little piece of every rotation, I wanted a full spectrum practice, and I did not want to be tied down to a big city or have limited opportunities (the way I see it). That being said, now I realize that I was made for family medicine all along. My personal statements for medical school and residency both talk about my paternal grandparents, who passed from diabetes and hypertension complications, likely easily treated by lifestyle modification. (And by easily I mean very difficult because our family reunion meals were very westernized.) I became enamored with the idea of being a small town doctor, who is able to deliver babies and see them through adulthood. I wanted to be able to treat every aspect of the patient, from medical to socioeconomic, from urgent to lifelong.
#3 What does a day-to-day looks like for you as a second year family medicine resident?
Every day of family medicine residency is different, since we are consistently rotating through different services (Ortho, cardiology, GI, pediatrics) inpatient and outpatient.
A typical day on inpatient family medicine wards starts with pre-rounding, then rounding, then consults, notes, and discharges, admission from the emergency department, then finally sign out. It sounds really short, but please trust me, it’s not. I get into the hospital at 630am and the latest I’ve ever left is 1130pm. How I feel about my time on wards is highly dependent on my team, and I’m lucky to say that I’ve enjoyed all of my wards months so far (4 of 6, but who’s counting). The patients we see on inpatient are really sick since we are a county hospital with patients who sometimes have never seen a doctor in their life. A typical day on outpatient family medicine clinic goes something like: at 8am start seeing patients (usually 8-12 in a half day), work almost through lunch hour, eat a quick snack, at 1pm start seeing patients again, work, and type as fast as possible so the clinic nurse manager can close down the clinic without you inside. I really love outpatient clinic with procedures, a mix of men/women, young/old, chronic/new.
#4 What is one of the top pieces of health advice you’d like to share with the public?
I can’t narrow down to one, but my top 3 health advices would be:
- Drink more water
- Sweat daily
- Be grateful for the health you have, because there is always someone who has it worse.
To expound a little more, drink more water than you’re used to, drink only water because everything else is mildly or moderately dehydrating, and drink water before you eat. Exercise for cardiovascular and skeletal health, which can include low intensity steady state cardio and resistance training, or a combination. Finally, after 1.5 years of being a physician, and 6.5 years in healthcare, and 12.5 years of considering medicine as a career path, I am learning every day the choices we make as humans dictates the quality and quantity of life afterwards.
#5 Where can our audience reach you if they have any further questions for you?
I am most active on Instagram at @vivyangmd. Feel free to reach out through a comment or direct message!
I also have an email email@example.com, which I read quickly and respond slowly.