Nancy Phu, OMS III at Burrell College of Osteopathic Medical - BCOM, Awarded $5,000 Founders' Scholarship

March 4, 2020
Nancy Phu, BCOM
Nancy Phu is a third year medical student completing her clinical clerkship in Tucson, Arizona. She earned her bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from San Jose State University, and after graduation worked as a clinical research associate at Gauss Surgical. She applied her knowledge of medical physiology with statistical analysis to improve the start-up company's innovative medical software to accurately predict estimated blood loss during obstetric procedures. As part of the second class at a new medical school, Nancy has worked endlessly on several committees to enhance the student learning experience. She advocated for effective teaching time and fair grading systems at academic curriculum meetings. Nancy is also an active member and former executive leader for Sigma Sigma Phi, the honorary osteopathic service fraternity, where she engages members with local community and assists students to complete their membership requirements. She takes pride in setting a record high of over 1,400 community service hours during her term. Nancy organized the annual health fair with the surgery club to provide education on various health topics such as basic hygiene, CPR, and dietary intake. Her community involvement has led to establishing a partnership with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Care Van Program to provide mobile care to Southern New Mexico. Now as a member of the Pima County Medical Society and Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association, she encourages her colleagues to develop and expand their professional network. Nancy actively participates in research and has published several journals and conferences.

Where do you consider home to be?

San Jose, California

What do you love about Arizona?

The weather is nice and people are friendly.

What is your favorite thing to do in your (very limited!) free time?
I enjoy making desserts and knitting.

How did you discover you wanted a career in medicine?

I've always had an interest in being of service to others. I also love learning human physiology and anatomy so medicine is the perfect combination of the two.

Who has been the most influential person in your life throughout your journey as a medical student?
My parents are my major influences throughout my medical training. They instilled the perseverance and hard work that helped me become who I am today. 

Which specialty do you plan to practice?
While I have not decided on a specialty yet, I plan to pursue a field where there are new medical innovations and technology to advance patient care.

Tell us about a typical day in the life of a medical student.
As a third year medical student, our days are mostly spent seeing patients. Depending on the service, I start rounding on patients in the morning, complete notes, and learn from my attendings. In the evenings, I read up on diseases I encountered that day.

What advice would you give to a student considering medicine as a career?
Medicine is a journey you embark on your entire life. While the path itself is long and arduous, the experience you gain is well worth it.

What is the most interesting thing you've discovered so far in your medical training?
Clinical practice of medicine is not as clear-cut as what is described in textbooks. There were countless times where I encountered atypical presentations of diseases. 

What excites you about becoming a physician?
As a physician in training, I am most excited about the impact I will make in the community, through service and advocacy. I also hope to influence the next generation of physicians through mentorship.

What led you to pursue osteopathic medicine as opposed to allopathic medicine?
The humanistic components of osteopathic medicine drew me to pursue this route over allopathic medicine. 

What do you think the future of medicine looks like?
I think the future of medicine looks promising. The diversity medicine brings forth has allowed physicians to implant themselves in other fields, such as politics, technology, and business. 

Part of the TOMF mission is to provide high-quality Continuing Medical Education to medical professionals in Southern Arizona. We would like to know how you learn best so that we can provide effective and engaging CME to your generation of osteopathic physicians. Which of the following provides the best learning experience in your opinion?
I lean best seated at a desk listening to a live lecture.

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