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Episode 102 – Dallas, MD/PhD/MBA Student at University of Utah School of Medicine

Mar 21, 2018

"It’s never a bad idea to have goals and ambitions and to try to reach for them. I think the folly is when people set unrealistic expectations, or they set expectations and when they’re not able to meet them, they don’t have a back-up plan.” Dallas became involved with research during her undergrad years and felt that it was the frontier of medicine. That realization led her to apply to MD/PhD programs. We talk about her triple crown and the time involved in accomplishing that task. She discusses the need to be resilient and what it was like to watch her colleagues continue to move through medical school when she left to pursue her PhD. Finally, we talk about her decision to specialize in a field very few know of, Occupational Medicine.

Episode Transcript

Dr. Chan: What is a triple crown? Why is resiliency important as an MD-PhD student? How does it feel to watch your colleagues move through medical school when you go into your PhD years, and what is OccMed? Today on Talking Admissions and Med Student Life, I interview Dallas, an MD-PhD and MBA medical student here at the University of Utah School Of Medicine.

Announcer: Helping you prepare for one of the most rewarding careers in the world, this is Talking Admissions and Med Student Life with your host, the Dean of Admissions at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Dr. Benjamin Chan.

Dr. Chan: All right, we have a great guest today on Talking Admissions and Med Student Life, Dallas. How are you doing Dallas?

Dallas: I'm good.

Dr. Chan: Dallas, I am so excited to have you because as I was teasing you a little bit before we turned on the mic, you are a triple crown, and we're going to talk about each one.

Dallas: Okay.

Dr. Chan: You're about to graduate with an MD, PhD and MBA.

Dallas: Yes.

Dr. Chan: All right. So let's start back in the beginning.

Dallas: Sure.

Dr. Chan: When you applied initially to the MD-PhD program, walk us through like what motivated you to kind of look at a PhD and what was that process like?

Dallas: Sure. I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. So when I was in high school I applied to BA/MD programs. So these are programs that guarantee you admission into their medical school. And I went to USC for their BaccMD program, so I knew that I could go to medical school. And part of the program was to give you the opportunity to explore your interests outside of medicine. They really wanted you to be sure that medicine was the career for you. So I explored a lot of things, you know, international relations, gender studies, you name it and I probably took a class on it.

Dr. Chan: This is down at USC?

Dallas: This is down at USC.

Dr. Chan: So when you started . . . it sounds like it's an accelerated program. So when you started the combined, the bachelor's degree as well as the medical doctorate degree.

Dallas: Right.

Dr. Chan: Wow.

Dallas: The program at USC isn't actually accelerated. So there are programs that accelerates it in that you can get both the MD and your bachelors in seven years. The one at USC is still an eight-year program, and the nice thing about it is they guarantee you admission to their medical school, but they don't limit you, so you can apply out and several people decided not to attend Keck Medical School, including me.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: But while I was at USC, I got the opportunity to explore a lot of things, one of which was research and I really fell in love with that. I had a mentor who was really invested in teaching me the basics of science and discovery, and I felt like it really was the frontier of medicine, you know? It pushes the boundary of where medicine will be. And so that's what led me to consider MD-PhD programs.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: So you're taking classes at USC and what was your major?

Dallas: I have a Bachelor of Arts in Biology.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: But I also graduated it in three years, so.

Dr. Chan: Okay. Very ambitious, a lot of work, a lot of hard work.

Dallas: A lot of work, but I wanted a year off between my undergrad and med school.

Dr. Chan: What did you do for your year off?

Dallas: I taught English in China for a year.

Dr. Chan: Oh, cool. What part of China?

Dallas: Tianjin.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: How was that? Was that a great experience, interesting experience or . . . ?

Dallas: I think it will probably be the best job I will ever have. I mean I love medicine, but it was amazing. I mean I got paid a ton of money to have conversational English for 20 hours a week, and I traveled a ton all over Asia and I really, I think I found myself as a person that year, so.

Dr. Chan: Interesting. Well, what do you mean by that? How'd you find yourself as a person?

Dallas: I think, you know, we are always constrained in some ways by where we come from, you know, our family, our culture, and just having the opportunity to be on my own, just entirely on my own without family support and without my close friends. I felt like I really learned about what is it that drives me and also what is it that I need in my life to have balance. Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Interesting. And I mean were there any like, do you have any specific like experiences that just stand out in your mind when you think back to teaching English over there? Or is it just more like all the experiences kind of put together?

Dallas: It's more like all the experiences put together. There wasn't any one thing. I think I just grew in confidence, you know, in my own abilities and also I just, I wasn't afraid anymore to approach strangers, to make new friends, you know, to not rely so heavily on, you know, my mentors, that sort of thing, yeah.

Dr. Chan: Do you stay in touch with any of your students?

Dallas: I do.

Dr. Chan: Cool. Cool.

Dallas: Yeah. A lot of them are in Canada and Australia. A few of them are in the States, and they're all doing great, so.

Dr. Chan: Was it so good that you . . . did you even entertain the idea of just staying over there for more than a year?

Dallas: I did.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: But I came back and interviewed for MD-PhD programs and got in, and I couldn't pass that up, so.

Dr. Chan: Okay, very awesome. All right, so MD-PhD programs, as I explained to applicants or people who are interested, the first two years are you're in the medical school and then you step off and then you pursue your PhD degree, do the research, labs, all that stuff, and then you rejoin the curriculum for the last two years of med school.

Dallas: Right.

Dr. Chan: And how was the process different? I mean like, when you interviewed, did you interview both with the MD as well as PhD, and how did you reconcile those two worlds? So, yeah, how did the interview process go?

Dallas: Traditionally, the interview process is a two-day interview and you'll interview with both sides, so the PhD departments and also the medical school, and I would say that both would have to agree in order for you to get accepted. So I think being able to sell yourself as a clinician and also as a researcher is crucial to being successful in that interview process.

Dr. Chan: Do you pick which lab or what field you're going to study for the PhD at the beginning, or is that determined later?

Dallas: Yeah. I think you don't have to know what lab or even what specialty you really want to pursue because those things changes. The program is set up so that in the summer before you start the MD-PhD program and the summer in between your first and second year at medical school you do a rotation, so two rotations, sometimes people can do three, through various labs. The first lab I rotated through is Dr. Alana Welm's lab, and it was great. It was something I had never done before, cancer biology. And the second lab, the lab that I eventually joined was with the Dr. Dean Li in vascular biology and cardiology, also something I had never done before. So I think you can pick and choose when you get here, you know?

Dr. Chan: Okay. So when you say rotate through lab, I mean, did they have like a little space for you like in the lab, you just kind of sit there and you kind of help run experiments? I mean what does it mean to rotate through a lab I guess?

Dallas: Yeah. I think good rotations fully integrate you into a project, and they typically carve out a section of a project, a larger project for you, one that's digestible in, you know, the span of a few months during the summer, because you want to get the full-on experience of what it would be like, should you choose that lab for your graduate studies. So I think a part of it is having your own project.

Dr. Chan: And I mean, what did you kind of look for? I mean, how do you end up choosing the lab that you wound up in?

Dallas: Sure. For me the subject wasn't as important as the mentor.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: I really cared about the environment in terms of, you know, will it push me to be a better researcher, a better person, and I wanted someone who was involved. I think a lot of students, you know, it depends on their personality. Some people really like hands-off mentors, you know, people that won't look over your shoulder. And I wanted someone who will be there, who will look over my shoulder if I needed it, but also eventually will give me the space to grow on my own. And Dean, the reason I chose Dean is he has a great track record of training just excellent students, and I felt like he would be there for me if I needed him, but at the same time he would also give me my own space.

Dr. Chan: And did that turn out to be true?

Dallas: Yes.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: For the most part, it was true.

Dr. Chan: Fantastic. Something I've always wondered about Dallas is, you know, when I look at the MD-PhD students, you know, I think, like the first two years, you're with all the other MD students and you form these relationships and you get to know people. Was it hard to step off and kind of let, you know, there's a small group of you who do an MD-PhD, was it hard to kind of step off and like watch all these people kind of progress and then you're kind of doing your PhD work on the . . . well, I mean was that hard at all?

Dallas: Yes. I think that's the most challenging aspect actually.

Dr. Chan: Really?

Dallas: For me personally, because I had a really great group of friends that I started at medical school with, and when I went into the lab, they went into third year of medical school and then fourth year and then they graduated and went away for residency and, you know, I'm still really good friends with them to this day, but it was so hard to watch them kind of move forward in their medical careers while I was doing this segue, you know?

I think the thing that we look for . . . when people ask me what type of people we look for the MD-PhD program, I think the number one thing I look for is resiliency, you know, because it's a long road and you have to start at the bottom over and over again, you know. You start out as a first year medical student, then you start out as a first year graduate student in the lab, and then when you go back to third year of medical school, you have forgotten the first two years of medical school. So you are in fact playing catch-up when you go back. And so I think that sort of resiliency is what I personally look for when we screen for applicants.

Dr. Chan: To kind of bounce back and forth from those worlds and just deal with, you know the setbacks that inevitably happen.

Dallas: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Is there, within MD-PhD culture, I mean I don't know, you can talk about your experience, but did you kind of tell yourself, "Oh, I'm going to get my PhD in three years." I mean or is that kind of setting yourself up to fail if you start putting these like benchmark?

Dallas: Expectations?

Dr. Chan: Yeah.

Dallas: Yeah. I . . .

Dr. Chan: Is it impossible to get a PhD in three years?

Dallas: No, it's not impossible. I've seen people do it.

Dr. Chan: Okay. Two years?

Dallas: Two years is a little more difficult.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: Especially in this, the current research climate. But certainly if you set yourself up well with the mentor who's supportive of that you can do it.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: I think it's never a bad idea to have goals and ambitions and to try to reach for them. I think the folly is when people set unrealistic expectations or they set expectations and when they're not able to meet them, they don't have a backup plan.

Dr. Chan: Okay. Interesting, interesting. So when you went in, did you kind of just go up and like, you know, how long . . . whatever it takes, right? Three years, six . . . I mean so did you kind . . . how did you approach it like mentally, I guess, with that . . .

Dallas: So no, I wanted a finite time, and I looked back at all of Dean Li's trainees and saw what, you know, how many years did it take for them . . .

Dr. Chan: The track record, yeah.

Dallas: The track record, right. And, you know, he has an average of four to five years, so I thought that would be my span of time and that was good to know. I also knew when I interviewed at programs, like the U of U, we have typically gotten people out in eight years. In the last few years maybe more so on the nine-year side because people just choose to do more in the lab. Burt when I interviewed at say USC Caltech, it's on an average a 10-year program. Very few people get out in less than 10 years.

Dr. Chan: So that kind of factored in your decision, then.

Dallas: Yes.

Dr. Chan: Okay, because I must say, you know, from Southern California coming to Utah.

Dallas: Yes.

Dr. Chan: I mean, kind of a big change, right?

Dallas: Yes.

Dr. Chan: So I guess was it the mentorship that sold you on the program?

Dallas: Well, I grew up here.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: So I was from . . . well, I was made in China, but I grew up in Utah.

Dr. Chan: I've never heard that joke before. That's really good. I'll have to remember that. Okay.

Dallas: An Asian friend of mine actually always told it, so I stole it from him. But my parents are here and I have a really young sibling. So when I started medical school, she was only two years old and, you know, the MD-PhD program is eight years, nine years and I knew I didn't want to be that far away from my family during that time. So that factored in.

Dr. Chan: So the Southern California-China kind of sojourn was just kind of part, I guess the journey.

Dallas: Yes.

Dr. Chan: And eventually you return back to Utah.

Dallas: Yes. But, you know, I spent high school trying to leave Utah, and I successfully did that and then only to realize I really liked Utah. But when I came back from medical school, I made a deal with my parents that I would accept the program here, but I will never live with them. So I didn't totally come back to my roots.

Dr. Chan: All right, wise words, wise words. Okay. So what is or was, I don't know how to say it, the name of your thesis? Or what was the project?

Dallas: Yeah. So I had two projects, two big ones.

Dr. Chan: Wow.

Dallas: Because I eventually became co-mentored actually by Dean Li and Dr. Andy Weyrich, who's down the hall from us, and he's a platelet biologist. And so I studied platelet formation and specifically in a disease called multiple myeloma and the drug that used to treat multiple myeloma which had the side effect of thrombocytopenia, the creation of low platelets.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: So that was my first project, and then simultaneously I did a project in Dean Li's lab looking at vessel stability in the eye of diabetic retinopathy, so.

Dr. Chan: Interesting.

Dallas: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Interesting. And then, I mean what were the results? I mean, just to someone that hasn't studied that at all? I mean, what did you find?

Dallas: Yeah. So from the platelet side, we found that the proteasome, this apparatus for degrading proteins is extremely important in the formation of platelets. If you inhibit that, you essentially shut down platelet formation. The flip side, for the vascular biology study, we saw that you know you can target this modulator called RF/6 that transports this signal molecule called VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor. And if you can target that with a drug, you can essentially change the stability of the vessel, leading to less leakage in the eye, which is kind of a hallmark of retinopathy.

Dr. Chan: I'm like nodding my head that I understand it. That sounds really intense.

Dallas: Yeah, it's a little intense.

Dr. Chan: So what was your PhD actually in? Is it . . . ?

Dallas: In human genetics.

Dr. Chan: Human genetics, all right, fascinating. Fascinating.

Dallas: Yeah. So my degree is in human genetics, but I would say I did mostly molecular biology. Dr. Chan: Okay, all right. And then you come back to third year?

Dallas: Yes.

Dr. Chan: And after you graduate with . . . well, after you're done with all of the PhD, did you even have a sense of what kind of doctor you want to be, or was that still kind of wide open?

Dallas: Yeah. I thought I was going to be an ophthalmologist. I had just spent, you know, four years of my life studying diabetic retinopathy, and I had a lot of colleagues in the Department of Ophthalmology, so I was totally, you know, going into third year thinking I would be an ophthalmologist.

Dr. Chan: What happened?

Dallas: Well, two things happened. One, I got an MBA, and two, I really thought going to ophthalmology wouldn't utilize my entire skill sets, so.

Dr. Chan: Did you do rotation ophthalmology?

Dallas: I did.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: I did.

Dr. Chan: Positive experience?

Dallas: Yeah. It was great. I had a great time. I really love the people. I love the eyeball and the physiology and the anatomy. I just didn't want to be that specialized at the end of the day.

Dr. Chan: Okay. And then you mentioned like the MBA and skill sets. So let's talk about it. So you did third year?

Dallas: I did third year, yes.

Dr. Chan: And when did the MBA idea pop into your head?

Dallas: Oh, man, it was late. I was really late to that game. April of my third year.

Dr. Chan: Okay. And help me understand like what prompted that? What was going on? What was your motivation, because obviously you love school?

Dallas: Yes.

Dr. Chan: You love being in Utah.

Dallas: Yes. Obviously, I cannot, you know, graduate. No, I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do. I kind of wrote off ophthalmology, but at the same time nothing really stood out to me as a career and I just wanted more time to figure that out. I think that prompted me to look at, you know, the bio-innovate program, the MPH, and I talked to Dean about it, you know, about my indecision and he was one who suggested the MBA. He knew about it, and I didn't even know we had a joint program, because it was so early, you know? And so he really encouraged me apply for that and thought I would be a good candidate for it. And so that's why I did.

Dr. Chan: So it sounds like you almost had like an identity crisis.

Dallas: Yes.

Dr. Chan: You know, you have all this knowledge, and it sounds like you were leaning towards ophthalmology, you've done all this research in it and were you just kind of headed down this path.

Dallas: Yes.

Dr. Chan: And all of a sudden like the path wasn't as beautiful or rosy as you thought.

Dallas: Right. Yeah. I totally, you know, this goes back to what I was talking about earlier, having backup plans. I didn't have one, so I found myself in this weird situation where I was like so far into my training. I really should have decided what I wanted to do and didn't make that decision yet, so I needed to buy myself some time. But on the flip side, you know, I always wanted to get an MBA. I just thought I would do it later in my career, you know, when I took on leadership role, because a lot of people do it, you know, they get an executive MBA or they get a PMBA at that point, a professional MBA.

Dr. Chan: Those cost a lot more, I can tell you that. Those are very expensive.

Dallas: That is true. And they take longer.

Dr. Chan: They take the long, yes. All right, so applied to the MBA program, you get in.

Dallas: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Chan: What was that like? I mean because like you're talking about a whole different group of students, different way of delivering a curriculum, what was your experience?

Dallas: It was great. You know, I didn't realized how much I would love it. It was just another way of looking at the world, another way of thinking about things, and then providing me a skill set that I didn't even know I needed, but I really did need, you know?

Dr. Chan: What was that skill set? You've mentioned that, yeah.

Dallas: Basics of accounting and, you know, how to manage. I think all physicians become managers eventually, because as an attending, you essentially have to be able to manage not only your patients but, you know, the teams that work to provide care for that patient. So that interpersonal skill is really important. And so that was essential to learn and negotiation . . .

Dr. Chan: It sounds like systems interacting with other systems, yeah.

Dallas: Yeah. And just looking at the world from a different perspective, you know. We as physicians, we really care about the patient but on the flip side of things medicine is a business, you know, and in order for it to be sustainable it has to be somewhat profitable or you have to take money from one place to cover expenses in another place. And, you know, how to balance that and how to think about that was kind of what I learned in the program.

Dr. Chan: Was it, so I'm just curious, with your PhD and almost your MD complete, were you like this super intimidating force to other MBA students, I mean . . .

Dallas: You know I think my classmates all knew that I was a medical student. That part was not hidden because it was . . . I think it's said on our profiles or something. But I think I kept my PhD pretty hidden.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: You know, I told my small group of people eventually, but I didn't really tell a lot of other people.

Dr. Chan: Kind of let it slip out like, "You know, I have a PhD, so this discussion we're having about the eye, like it's very superficial."

Dallas: You know, I did not talk science with any of my MBA colleagues. Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Okay. Great. So you go through . . . and so was it a yearlong program, the combined?

Dallas: So it's a two-year program but you do your second year when you're back in fourth year.

Dr. Chan: Fourth year of medical school?

Dallas: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: And so I'm still taking one class this semester.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: All right. And then I think that kind of culminates in your decision about what kind of doctor to be?

Dallas: Yes.

Dr. Chan: So what were you kind of weighing and how did you kind of arrive to where you're at after the ophthalmology?

Dallas: So I guess what I decided during that year is I really like preventative medicine. I think a lot of what we do in medicine is defensive, and I like to take a more offensive approach. And so preventative medicine sort of fits into that, and when I thought about what fields exercises a lot of preventative care, the ones that came to mind were pediatrics and occupational medicine. And so I did rotations when I came back to fourth year in both of those. I did my sub-I in peds, and then I did a rotation through the occupational medicine department and I ended up dual applying into both of those programs. And now as we [inaudible 00:23:10] I can tell you that I'm leaning more towards the occupational medicine side.

Dr. Chan: So what is occupational medicine, or OccMed, for those people who don't really understand what that is? It is kind of, it's a popular field, but it's not a very well-known field.

Dallas: No.

Dr. Chan: And people know what pediatrics is, I mean it's kind of self-evident. Yeah.

Dallas: Yeah. So occupational medicine is a field that takes care of workers. So we're talking about work-related injuries, clearing people for work, for respiratory rater use or their equipment that they need and also taking care of diseases that arise from their work, you know lacerations, a lot of musculoskeletal stuff, lung stuff like coal miners' lungs and that sort of thing.

Dr. Chan: It sounds like an excellent use of your MBA, because the way I understand occupational medicine, to kind of echo what you said, you can work for a big entities, either corporations or states or governments or things like that, and you can still see and treat patients, but also you really help set policy and help try to determine how we're going to like manage this problem or that problem. Is that an accurate conceptualization?

Dallas: Yeah. I would say that's very accurate. Most occupational medicine physicians eventually become medical directors for those entities, whether on the corporate side or a more academic level, and a lot of them work for the government trying to pass policies that help keep our workers safe or investigational-wise, like they will go out into the field and try to figure out what is it that's causing this disease in the field.

Dr. Chan: I had a great idea. Let me run this by you, Dallas.

Dallas: Sure.

Dr. Chan: All right, I think you should work for Google one day, because Google Glass can combine your MBA, OccMed as well as your background in ophthalmology when people have those glasses that they wear where they can just look at the internet with their eyes like two inches from them. What do you think?

Dallas: You know, if Google offered me a job I would totally take it.

Dr. Chan: Have you thought about this? I could see this going in many different directions. It's beautiful, yeah.

Dallas: I did not think about that.

Dr. Chan: Okay. Well, if you go on to work for Google and you revolutionize the Google Glass . . .

Dallas: I will thank you for it.

Dr. Chan: Give me some Google stock, please.

Dallas: Totally. You know, you would be the impetus for all of that.

Dr. Chan: All right, so what does an OccMed residency look like and how long is it and, you know, what does it mean?

Dallas: So, you do a prelim year, so first year in either internal medicine or surgery or really anything you want, but you got to have that foundational training and then you go into the occupational medicine residency, which is a two-year residency. The first year is mostly class work. So typically you either get a Masters of Public Health or you get a Masters of Occupational Health, which is what we offer here at the University of Utah. And then the second year is pretty much all clinics, but you get to do a lot of cool electives, like we have partnerships with Chevron, so you can work there or NASA, so, you know, one of the residents just came back from working at NASA and that's really cool.

Dr. Chan: That sounds so cool.

Dallas: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: And not just NASA but aren't there all these private companies trying to launch people into space?

Dallas: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: I keep on hearing rumors that they're going to make it like a tourist event, they're going to send people to the moon and back.

Dallas: Yeah, I don't know where that's at right now.

Dr. Chan: I think we're going to need a lot of occupational medicine doctors to tackle that.

Dallas: Perhaps.

Dr. Chan: Because it sounds incredibly dangerous and a lot of things can go sideways, I guess.

Dallas: Yes, perhaps.

Dr. Chan: Very cool, very cool. And so is OccMed part of the regular match, or how is that set up?

Dallas: Sure. Occupational medicine is not traditionally part of the regular match. In fact, most people don't apply for around until their first year into their residency, so during their prelim year, you would apply and there's only a handful of programs in the United States. I think there's only something like 60 spots total. But there are schools that you can apply for it early like Loma Linda has a combined transitional year in occupational medicine residency program, so you could apply for it from fourth year medical school if you really know that's what you want to do.

Dr. Chan: Okay. And are you leaning towards that program?

Dallas: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: I'm leaning . . .

Dr. Chan: Going back to Southern California?

Dallas: No, I actually accepted an occupational medicine position here.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Wow.

Dallas: In a year, so I'm waiting for the match.

Dr. Chan: Exciting.

Dallas: Yeah, to see where I'll do my prelim year.

Dr. Chan: Okay. All right, that's very exciting. And how does your family think about this? Are they . . .

Dallas: They have no clue what I'm doing? You know, most physicians . . .

Dr. Chan: They're still thinking you're going to ophthalmology or . . . ?

Dallas: I don't know. Most physicians I talk to don't know what occupational medicine is, you know? I was just on my internal medicine rotation, and my attending like asked me a lot of questions because he didn't know about the field at all. And so if physicians don't know about it, I think lay people like my parents definitely don't know about it. But I've tried to explain it to them, and I think they're onboard with whatever I want to do.

Dr. Chan: Okay, that's good. It's always good to have like your family in your corner.

Dallas: Yes.

Dr. Chan: So it sounds like they're excited for you no matter what you end up doing.

Dallas: Yeah, and my husband is certainly as excited, because, you know, he has a great job here in Utah and if we stayed in Utah, that certainly would be easier on him.

Dr. Chan: Very true.

Dallas: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Well, Dallas my last final question and I'm just really curious.

Dallas: Sure.

Dr. Chan: Were your parents fan of the Dallas Cowboys? Where does the Dallas name come from? Is there a story behind it?

Dallas: No. In fact, I've never been to Dallas, but I . . .

Dr. Chan: That should be on your bucket list.

Dallas: That should be on my bucket list. Oh, that's actually . . . I've been to the Dallas Airport.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: And I love Dallas, sure, from there.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: Yes.

Dr. Chan: It felt like, oh, this is . . .yeah.

Dallas: Yes, it was necessary.

Dr. Chan: This is the place, yeah.

Dallas: No. It actually came from grandparents. I grew up Catholic. My grandparents were very devout Catholics, and in the church when you're baptized, you get a saint's name.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Dallas: And mine in Chinese was [foreign language 00:29:35], which phonetically sounded similar to Dallas, so when I came to the States that's kind of what they named me. I don't think they knew it was a city in Texas.

Dr. Chan: Okay. That's fascinating. And saints, Catholic saints, aren't they like known for things? I mean, so what was this Catholic saint known for?

Dallas: I think she was known for her benevolence.

Dr. Chan: Okay. That's good. That's good.

Dallas: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: I learned something today. You taught me about OccMed, you taught me about like all those acronyms you were throwing around with your research, that was fascinating. I learned about Catholic saint named . . . how do you say it again?

Dallas: [foreign language 00:30:12].

Dr. Chan: [foreign language 00:30:12]?

Dallas: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: I'm learning stuff. This is beautiful. Well, Dallas good luck on the match for your prelim year coming up.

Dallas: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: And I'm excited to see you. I'll have to have you come back on.

Dallas: Yeah. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to Talking Admissions and Med Student Life with Dr. Benjamin Chan, the ultimate resource to help you on your journey to and through medical school, a production of The Scope Health Sciences Radio online at