As a physician, I consider grit, family, and friends to be the most impactful factors
In this blog, we will be sharing his secrets and experiences. Daniel graduated from Dartmouth as a psychology major. He is currently working as an emergency medicine physician at St David's Medical Center in Austin.
Q. Brief introduction of who you are, your background, and what you currently do.
Hello, my name is Daniel Choi. I was born in Seoul then immigrated with family to Texas at age 8. I have been calling Texas home since that time! I am currently an emergency medicine physician in Austin, TX.
Q. What kind of student were you in high school or college?
I was a quiet kid earlier in high school but later found my place and voice. I was hardworking for sure; whether it be academics, church-related activity, or clubs/organizations, I liked to stay involved. This work ethic translated to a similar course in college. I did have a challenging time finding my major in college however eventually decided on Psychology because I fell in love with the subject matter and found it more interesting than anything else I was learning.
Q. How did you start pursuing your career?
I have wanted to do medicine for as long as I can remember. I always found the idea of being able to make an immediate impact on people through the act of healing meaningful and fulfilling. Making an impact - whether big or small - was important for me in choosing my career.
Q. It is well known how difficult the path to becoming a doctor is. What was one thing that helped you get to where you are?
Grit was definitely a part of how I got here, relentlessly pushing forward even when things became challenging. However, more central to my trajectory were cultivating a positive outlook and having a good support network of friends and family who had my back.
Q. Were there any difficulties along the way? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them?
Getting into medical school was tough but the first two years of medical school were tougher. There were moments where I wanted to quit because the countless hours I was putting in did not feel as if it were amounting to the appropriate results at times. Due to the support I had however (as above), I was able to keep going and realized during third year of medical school how fulfilling medicine was and could be after I started doing rotations in the hospital. I had an epiphany that the first two years of pre-clinical knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and disease were all necessary when I was able to begin applying said knowledge seeing actual patients.
Q. If you could go back in time, what is one thing you would change?
I would enjoy more time with family and friends and travel more.
Q. What is your philosophy?
Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. I think that there is not enough positivity, kindness, and love in this world. What is the point of a medical career or building a future if it does not make a positive impact on the people around you? - is my thought. I struggle at times with the frustration of working in the hospital as it does have its moments and there are difficult people and situations but the above mindset helps me to keep myself in check and try to focus on what matters to me.
Q. Any plans for your future?
I recently married the love of my life! We are hoping to have kids, God-willing, and I hope to build a healthy, loving family. I want to explore other possibilities with my career, whether it be building my own medical practice or missionary work or public health education.
Q. What is one advice you would give to students who wish to follow your career path?
Figure out what you are good at and enjoy and what is important to you! I think that there is so much potential when you are young and with a bit of planning and focus, you can accomplish anything.