Written by Lindsey Chun and Cameron Louie, Enterprise Program Assistant Interns.
The Enterprise for Youth Career Exploration Internship Program hosted an exciting Healthcare Panel. The healthcare industry is a continuously innovative field with growth potential. Professionals ranging from medical device entrepreneurs to pediatricians came to this event to share their path from undergraduates to where they are today. Each and every speaker brought forth a new perspective and story to share with the youth, shining light on possible career paths in their future. Speakers for this event included Kara Wright, Bradley Stohr, Jeffery Tabas, Celeste Prothro, John Reid, and Dan Burnett. Here are some reflections and takeaways from the panelists about their journeys!
Kara Wright, Family Advocate/Pediatrician:
Kara received her Masters’s Degree in Public Health and went on to medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern. Since receiving her Doctor of Medicine and completing her pediatric residency training at the University of California San Francisco, she has become a Family Advocate and Pediatrician in the Tenderloin neighborhood, among the other roles she holds at St Anthony’s Clinic and UCSF. During Kara’s talk for our healthcare panel, she emphasized the importance of support for youth in our community, especially the Tenderloin. “We often only get to spend fifteen to twenty minutes in the clinic with each child and it ultimately comes down to choosing which conditions are most serious. Then we treat these first with hopes of having a check-up visit,” Kara said. The most rewarding part of her job is building strong supportive relationships with the families and children she treats as she watches them develop over the years. Currently, Kara is working on a project to bridge the gap between the educational and medical realms for kids, while at the same time supporting their families and the communities they grow up in.
Bradley Stohr, Associate Professor:
Bradley earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biology at Swarthmore College and went on to pursue his Doctor of Medicine and Ph.D. at Duke University. He decided to take his background to the University of California, San Francisco, where he has enjoyed many roles until becoming an Associate Professor practicing pathology. Bradley took us through a day in his life, getting into his lab at 5:30 AM in the morning to look at sample specimens from patients at the UCSF Medical Center. “The hardest part of this job is telling a family that their family member has cancer. Although I never actually get to meet them, I see their specimen that I receive as so much greater than that,” Bradley said. He pointed out how cancer is a very sensitive area. Although cancer may be a prevalent disease, it is still easy to misdiagnose. Cancer is not always detectable, but when it is, it is important to take immediate action. As a pathologist, Bradley often does not get the opportunity to see the patients he is researching, but he is happy knowing the good he has done by providing patients with accurate diagnoses.
Jeffrey Tabas, Emergency Medicine Physician:
Jeffrey received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania and moved on to the University of California Los Angeles to complete his training in internal and emergency medicine. Today, he is an emergency physician at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). SFGH is San Francisco’s only public hospital and focuses on medical care for the city’s uninsured population. In addition to facilitating his emergency department, Jeffery teaches medical students, residents, nurses, and other medical professionals. Outside of his job at SFGH, Jeffery continues to push for medical education as the Director of Faculty Development for Emergency Medicine at the University of California San Francisco and he is also working to grow the UCSF Osher Mini Medical School for the Public. Jeffery is continuously trying to open doors for his community to learn from what is happening at UCSF’s medical clinic, hospital, and research lab.
Celeste Prothro, Infection Prevention Program Manager:
Celeste received her Bachelor’s degree in History then started her career in public health research at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. She now works at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center as a Registered Nurse, managing the infection prevention program. On a daily basis, she reviews patients who are at risk of infections and sees what patients need in her units, implementing changes if needed. She also participates in regular safety briefings with all of the hospital managers, examining and discussing issues related to patient safety. Celeste focuses on various projects, studying different types of infections using nationally compared data. What she enjoys about nursing is that it is such a wide and versatile profession where she is able to shift her focus from one issue to the next, as well as constantly learning throughout her career. Hospitals have persevered through the challenges of the pandemic and essential workers continue to dedicate their efforts to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. A piece of advice that she gave to the youth is, “ When opportunity knocks, and you think you want it, go for it!”
John Reid, Health Advocate:
John has worked in the nonprofit sector for over forty years writing community-based grants and building awareness. He has raised over a billion dollars for the numerous organizations he has worked with. John studied international economics at the University of California Santa Cruz but eventually found his passion for working in a nonprofit organization. He reminds the youth, “The most important thing is to go in one direction. And you will determine what is the best field for you through trial and error.”
A recent project John worked on was a grant for the local organization, Therapists of Color, a collaborative of about twenty therapists, psychologists, and mental health professionals that are Hispanic, Asian, and African American. He researched and gathered information about the heightened impacts and stress that COVID-19 has on students. He was able to write a $1.3 million grant to provide counseling services to many students. This grant was funded last month at the end of May!
Dan Burnett, Accomplished Medical Device Entrepreneur:
Dan is a Biomedical Engineer and has worked on 57 issued patents as well as over 180 patents pending worldwide. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California, San Francisco. He studied at Duke University where he received his M.D. and M.B.A. Dan began as an intern at Mayo Clinic and is now the founder and CEO of TheraNova, an experienced medical device developer with a track record of creating innovative and practical solutions to large markets with unmet needs. Since 2006, he has raised over $250 million for fourteen TheraNova spinouts.
As the six professionals shared their insight and journeys of their careers, they demonstrated that a direct path is not the only way to pursue a profession in healthcare. Jobs in the medical field can open many doors for people to create an impact on others. John Reid shared an encouraging message with the youth, “The healthcare industry is very viable and there are multiple facets of becoming a professional in that field.”
The panelists continue to inspire the youth in this program and encourage them to find interests that they are passionate about. Many of the youth are considering occupations in medicine and are striving to become future pediatricians, dentists, nurses, and more!