Name: Marcus Chen
School: California School of Podiatric Medicine at Samuel Merritt University
Hometown: Pleasanton, CA
Undergraduate school and degree(s): University of California, Berkeley: BA, Integrated Biology
Why did you choose podiatry?
I chose podiatry primarily because of an excellent shadowing experience with Dr. Carolyn McAloon and Dr. Naleen Prasad in Castro Valley and Dublin, CA. It seemed like there was a good variety of cases in the clinic, ranging from routine nail care to surgery. Both podiatric physicians were confident in their ability to care for patients in a knowledgeable and compassionate manner. I wanted to be like them! There is also something attractive about knowing about my specialty early, so that I may begin having a better idea of my role as a health-care professional sooner.
What is the biggest surprise/challenge about podiatry school so far?
Time is passing strangely quickly and becoming ever so limited and precious. My greatest challenge is maintaining a sense of balance in my life. While I am rather academically oriented and enjoy becoming knowledgeable, it is very difficult to be constantly in information-sponge mode. What has worked so far is to incentivize myself with fun, free time. But no routine seems to stick.
On the other hand, I am surprised that I enjoy the learning aspect of this heavy information exposure more than expected. It feels good to be ever more knowledgeable about medicine week after week, even if we are still learning the basic sciences.
Where do you see yourself in 2040?
I see myself working in private practice with my brother (currently in his first year of practice and also a graduate of CSPM) and other partners and associates. I hope to see patients in a wide variety of settings, like a nursing home, clinic, hospital, surgery center, etc.
What is something surprising about you?
My minor at UC Berkeley was Gender and Women’s Studies, which taught me a lot about being more respectful and interested in people’s histories and life experiences, regardless of how similar they are to mine. As a health-care professional-in-training, I am grateful to have an academic background that encourages empathy, self-education, and sensitivity.