Before pursuing her studies at RVUCOM, Stella Chan, OMS IV, was a member of the MSBS program’s inaugural Class of 2017 at RVU-CO. She chose to pursue an MSBS degree in the newly established program to strengthen her academic record – she had completed her undergraduate studies eight years prior – and to figure out if medicine, and RVU, was the right fit. As such, her first piece of advice for students in the MSBS program is to “take this unique opportunity to figure out where you think you best ‘fit’ in the health professions field.”
In the MSBS program, SD Chan learned to utilize every resource available to her. “Seek out mentorships to help you with your career goals,” she advises. “[The MSBS program] is a great time to reflect if you have adequate support and to determine if you can thrive during your health professions training at RVU (on either campus).” Lastly, “always remember that scores do not define you nor do they predict how you will help your patients in the future.”
Now a fourth-year student at RVUCOM, SD Chan is often reminded of a simple, yet powerful phrase that was often said by her dear friend and colleague Jessica Deane, OMS II, who passed away last year: “Never give up.” SD Chan found that working through obstacles, “specially during some of the most challenging times that made me question my worth…have created opportunities for real transformation.”
SD Chan also reflected on those who, over the years, have inspired and motivated her to continue on her journey to become a physician. “Early on, it was family members who unfortunately passed away due to lack of access to adequate healthcare. Then, it was my own healing from past traumas where I learned about the powers of fortitude, resiliency, and empathy.”
While at RVU, she says she has also been “fortunate to have crossed paths with many wonderful colleagues, friends, and mentors who have found their calling in medicine and graciously offered guidance with my journey.” Most recently, her motivation has come from the patients she has helped treat during her clinical externships.
In her time at RVU, SD Chan has been recognized with a number of awards and scholarships, including RVU’s MSBS Humanitarian Award in 2017; RVU’s Healthcare Leaders Scholarship (2017 – 2019); Health Resources and Services Administration’s National Health Service Corps Scholarship (2019 – 2021); and the American Academy of Family Physician’s Family Medicine Leads Scholarship (2020).