Class of 2023
"Hello! My name is Akash Patel. I was born and raised in Sacramento, CA but moved to Oklahoma and then Texas for a couple years due to my parents job opportunities, then relocated back to Sacramento in 2011. Some of my personal interests/hobbies include working out, snowboarding, trying new foods, hiking and traveling. As far as my undergraduate career goes, I recently graduated with a degree in Public Health B.S. from San José State University. Throughout my undergrad, I was fortunate enough to gain many hands-on experiences for a career in healthcare through internships, medical related student organizations and emergency medical technician training.
My passion and interest for the medical field was discovered at a very young age. Throughout my childhood, I remember being in the hospital environment very often because of my grandparents' health conditions and mom's cancer diagnosis/treatment. From a young age, I had no choice but to grow up and mature faster than my peers at the time, as I had to balance work, school and my priorities back home to take care of my grandparents and mom. Even though these times were challenging and difficult to handle, I wouldn’t change it for the world because I was fortunate enough to discover that my interest in medicine directly aligned to a life of servitude.
Ultimately, I am extremely excited for this opportunity to work in a collaborative environment with other like-minded COMET fellows, healthcare providers, mentors, faculty and staff. I’m looking forward to this new journey into the medical field and can't wait to utilize this learning and networking opportunity to become a future surgical PA."
"Hi, my name is Alicia! I was born and raised in the Bay Area. I graduated from Vanderbilt University, where I double majored in Medicine, Health & Society and Economics.
My first exposure to the world of medicine came during my junior year of high school, when my family encountered a medical challenge. While I have always been fascinated by human biology, seeing firsthand the positive impact that health professionals can make with their compassionate treatment convinced me to pursue the rewarding profession of medicine.
As an undergraduate, I looked for opportunities to learn about medicine from different perspectives. I shadowed in otolaryngology, neuroradiology, and transplant psychiatry clinics, where I witnessed the importance of physicians adapting their communication styles to fit the diverse needs of their patients. During my time as a quality assurance intern at Fresenius Medical Care, a company that designs hemodialysis machines and runs dialysis clinics, I learned about the unique challenges involved in providing chronic patient care and gained insight into the rising issue of kidney disease in the US. I was further encouraged to pursue medicine by working as a volunteer at my local hospital, where I discovered that a supportive and positive attitude can make a large impact on a patient’s experience.
I am passionate about exploring the social determinants of health, and it is my goal to contribute to providing more equitable healthcare - especially in underserved immigrant communities.
In my free time, I love to draw, restore old toys, travel, and hang out with my golden retriever.
I am honored and excited to join the COMET class of 2023 and look forward to learning all that I can from this immersive opportunity!"
"Hi! My name is Anil Prasad. I just graduated from Duke University with a BA in English and a minor in Chemistry. I entered college wanting to go into the entertainment industry as a TV screenwriter or producer. But after my experiences working as a caregiver in a nursing home, doing research in cardiology, and working with patients as a contact tracer, I realized that my true passion lied in healing and medicine. So, I switched to the pre-medical track, which has been both a challenging and fulfilling experience. My desires for Hollywood haven’t faded away completely, however. I am an avid writer and finish one book every year. Ultimately, I hope to publish one of my novels, as well as find a way to connect my love for writing and medicine in a unique way. I am very excited to spend my next year as a COMET fellow at Stanford. Not only will I be back home in the Bay Area, but I will get to learn so much about what the roles and responsibilities of a doctor look like, something COVID made difficult to do over the past few years. I am sure I am going to learn a lot and grow greatly as a budding physician!"
"Hello, my name is Ansh! I have spent most of my life in the Bay Area, upon relocating to Cleveland to attend Case Western Reserve University. Here, I majored in Biochemistry with minors in Applied Data Science, Spanish, and Chemistry. In my free time, I enjoy exploring scenic destinations (with family, friends, and my dog), playing sports, and reading books.
Since a young age, I have always had a fascination with the field of medicine, but I never knew what, in particular, drew me to this field. Wanting to explore this vast profession while integrating my technical information, I began elementary side projects that used computer vision to detect ailments on medical images. These projects quickly snowballed into conducting research at my university to use deep learning for the detection and classification of prostate cancer on MRI scans. In my time as a research assistant, I was given the opportunity to interact with radiologists across multiple hospitals and work in an incredible team setting to contribute towards the intersection of medicine and technology. This experience has opened my eyes to the importance of technology in the hospital system and this is a field I hope to contribute to in my coming years.
I am incredibly grateful to be part of this COMET Fellowship class. Being in close proximity to a team of physicians excites me and I am excited to learn from some of the best in the nation. I look forward to gaining mentorship from these incredible individuals and furthering my goal of becoming a physician."
"Hello! My name is Carolyn and I am a recent graduate of UC Davis with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Global Disease Biology. I am proud to call myself a Bay Area native, and in my spare time I love to dance, try out new recipes, and read romance novels.
During my time as an undergraduate, I had the rewarding opportunity to participate in biochemical research regarding the behavior and functions of motor proteins and their impact on human neurodegenerative disorders. Whilst being inspired by how impactful this basic science research was to discovering treatments of incurable diseases, I wished I was also able to directly connect with the patients that we were hoping to help. This drove me to pursue other clinical experiences, as a volunteer in the NICU as well as a Mandarin Chinese interpreter at a student-run clinic. Being able to meet, comfort, and support patients on their path to better health filled in that missing human connection for me, and from there on out I was sure that medicine was the path for me.
I am elated to take on my role as a Stanford COMET Fellow and deepen my understanding of patient care through the guidance of physician mentors and faculty members. In addition, I look forward to getting to know a cohort filled with outstanding individuals with my same shared interest in healthcare as we embark on this exciting journey together. "
"Hello! My name is Dana Aboukhalil and I was born and raised in the Bay Area. Last spring, I earned a B.S. in Psychobiology from UCLA with an intention to pursue medicine. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, going to the beach, and spending time with family and friends!
Throughout undergrad, I worked as a student medical assistant and was fascinated by medicine in its entirety. This experience along with my interest in science really solidified my desire to become a physician. I am beyond excited and grateful to join the COMET Fellowship which I know will allow me to gain more experience and grow my passions further.
In addition to healthcare, I have always been passionate about philanthropy. In 2020, my peers and I established a nonprofit, initially focused on the effects of the pandemic, aimed at bridging the gap between donors and those in need. While we achieved a lot, I know there is so much more than can be done to help others and I would love to be a part of the effort. As a child of immigrants from third world countries, I am well aware of the effects of health disparities and I am passionate about reducing them. I am thrilled about the opportunities COMET offers to work with a diverse population of patients.
I am excited to be in the COMET class of 2022-2023, for not only the invaluable experience but for the chance to work with an extraordinary group of healthcare workers and fellows."
"Hello all! My name is Eleanor Frost. I am from the Los Angeles area and moved to the Bay Area almost seven years ago. I am passionate about scientific research and art. I got my undergraduate degree in 2019 from Stanford University in Art Practice and a subsequent master’s in Epidemiology and Clinical Research. I am grateful for my art background that emphasized the analysis of human emotion, work, and thought, and demanded my own nuanced, contextualized perspective. I hope to continue to apply this human-centric perspective to understand and help those in my community through the COMET Fellowship.
I work as an epidemiology cancer researcher at the NIH investigating serum risk factors for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I am motivated to enter the medical field to work collaboratively in order to improve the lives of our community. I hope to continue my love of research and helping others in the future as a physician scientist.
In my free time, I like to bake, paint, bother my rescue cat, Sugar, run, and play tennis.
I am very much looking forward to learning from healthcare workers and patients as a part of COMET. I am excited to join the scribe community and learn from my fellow scribes."
"Hello! My name is Hassina. I grew up in the Bay Area and attended San José State University where I majored in Public Health and minored in Nutrition & Food Science. In my free time, I enjoy doing yoga, traveling, cooking, and trying new restaurants.
During my years in college, I volunteered over 500 hours at a local hospital where I had the opportunity to interact with patients and become familiar with the inner workings of a hospital. I was exposed to a variety of departments with different types of healthcare professionals. I enjoyed working alongside like-minded people who wanted to provide positive experiences for patients. Volunteering made me feel like I was making a meaningful difference in my community. It solidified my decision to pursue a career in the healthcare field.
As an incoming fellow, I am looking forward to working with healthcare providers and other COMET fellows to gain invaluable knowledge and experience that will prepare me for my future career. My long-term goal is to become a PA, and this program will give me a glimpse of how healthcare teams work together to care for their patients. I am excited to be a part of the COMET Fellowship class of 2022-2023!"
"Hi, I’m Hildelisa!
I first became interested in medicine from a biology course I took at Gavilan College in high school. The professor’s passion for the material made me view the subject in a way that I enjoyed and wanted to learn more. The following year, I enrolled at UC Irvine where I participated in evolutionary biology research and graduated with a B.S. in Neurobiology. While COVID-19 restricted my ability to continue research, it’s something I look forward to restarting through this fellowship.
From a young age, I volunteered in my community through the Morgan Hill Youth Action Council. There, I worked with a diverse group of community members, performing a wide range of tasks, from helping low-income elementary schoolers with their homework to organizing the Annual Senior Citizen’s ball.
Yearning for hands-on experience in the field of medicine, I interned with PREP Médico, a joint program between UC Davis School of Medicine and The Permanente Medical Group. In participating in clinical rotations, receiving hands-on training, and working as a translator in a pop-up clinic at a camp of Latinx migrant workers in Napa Valley, it refueled my passion for helping others. This experience pushed me to intern at District Assemblymember Robert Rivas’ office –one of the largest agricultural Assembly Districts in California with a predominantly Latinx constituency. As a future physician, I wanted to understand how policy can impact a patient’s health.
I look forward to all the opportunities that Stanford and its medical team have to offer."
"Hello! My name is Isabella Kong. I am from Claremont, California and recently graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Environment and Sustainability with a concentration in Evolutionary Biology and Applied Ecology.
At Cornell, I engaged in undergraduate research through studying the evolutionary history and intricate anatomy of the lungfish. I discovered an amorphous love for both environmental science and its role in transforming the biological systems pertaining to species’ health. Lungfish are a living representation of true paradox: they are one of the oldest living vertebrates on this planet, yet harbor a very intricate respiratory system. This research experience made me realize that medicine and environmental science are not mutually exclusive. I didn’t have to choose between the two. What I find most intriguing about environmental science is its direct impact on human health, and a career that focuses on the human condition as well as an individual’s belonging within the interconnected communities in which they occupy, would be the most energizing and fulfilling for me.
In my free time, I enjoy skiing, involving myself in marine conservation efforts, and exploring the outdoors!
I am very excited to engage in this COMET fellowship as I am certain that it will provide me with the necessary resources to drive impact in the clinical care space in the future, as well as equip me with a well-rounded immersion in the field of medicine that will allow me to strengthen the skills that I need in medical school and beyond."
Jazmin Dominguez Ramirez
"Hello, My name is Jazmin Dominguez Ramirez, and my pronouns are she/her. I received my B.A in Public Health in May 2022 from UC Berkeley. Due to my experiences with my grandparents and the medical system, I want to aid others— especially the Latinx community because of the lack of Spanish-speaking healthcare professionals. I want to address the inequities and tackle the disparities in communities of color. Specifically, learn how to improve the health of communities of color before they step foot in a hospital. This contributes to my passion for medicine and pursuing a career as a Physician Assistant. I am passionate about two things: education and medicine. Working with the Latino Education Advancement Foundation, I have fostered an environment that increases the number of underserved students in higher education, learn how to navigate college, and support their parents. I hope to continue serving as a mentor for others when navigating their educational path.
As a COMET fellow, I look forward to gaining more knowledge of how I can medically support my community, be mentored by a diverse range of healthcare professionals, and meet more like-minded students who strive to create a more equitable health system."
"Hello! My name is Jocelyn Chu. I was born and raised in San Francisco and recently graduated from UC Davis, where I majored in Global Disease Biology and minored in African American Studies. I aspire to be a primary care physician in the future and want to work to provide health equity to underserved populations through clinical service and community engagement. Outside of academics, I enjoy getting boba with friends, going to festivals, and dancing.
While at UC Davis, I volunteered at Imani Clinic, a student-run clinic aimed at serving the underserved African American community. Volunteering at Imani Clinic allowed me to practice cultural humility and grow my passion for helping the medically underserved. I engaged in clinical research through the UC Davis Emergency Medicine Research Associate Program (EMRAP), where I worked closely with Research coordinators to screen and enroll patients into emergency department studies. I also worked as an Aggie Public Health Ambassador, where I encouraged healthy behavioral practices during the pandemic, created social media content, and served as a peer example on campus. In addition, I worked at on the campus Coffee House as a barista.
I am excited and humbled to be a part of the COMET class of 2022-2023. As a fellow, I am looking forward to gaining clinical and research experience, as well as collaborating with my peers who share my passions for a better healthcare system."
"Hello! My name is Julenne Ng, and I was born and raised in San Francisco. I recently graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, Behavior and a minor in Psychology, with hopes to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant. In my free time, I enjoy working out, trying new food spots in the Bay Area, and watching Kdramas.
As an undergraduate, I volunteered as a research assistant at several psychology labs, researching emotion processing in people with psychosis, as well as stress interventions, and also had a hand in conducting research in the Emergency Department at UC Davis Medical Center. My most recent role as a physical therapy aide, however, combined with my interest in anatomy and physiology, ultimately led me to pursue a career as a PA. As a PT aide, I loved being able to interact and establish relationships with patients, as well as take part in a patient’s recovery journey, all things I wish to continue to do as a future PA. In addition to my role as a PT aide, I also volunteer as a health coach, where I work with clients to establish healthy lifestyle changes through goal setting and motivational interviewing.
I am honored and excited to be a part of the COMET Fellowship Class of 2022-2023. As a COMET fellow, I look forward to working alongside distinguished healthcare professionals, expanding my experience in the clinical field, and gaining new medical knowledge and skills that will ultimately help me become a better provider in the future."
"Hello! My name is Katherine Jeung. I was born in Sacramento, California, but have spent most of my life in the Bay Area. I graduated from the University of Southern California in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and minor in Health Care Studies.
From a young age, I have always had a curiosity about biology and how the human body functions. This interest led me to pursue research opportunities exploring the cognitive and neural mechanisms that allow humans to perceive objects. During my undergraduate years, I continued to work as a research assistant on a study about heart rate variability and stress. I also enjoyed being a student teacher for a science outreach program that serves elementary schools in downtown Los Angeles.
While continuing to take premedical courses, I have also worked for a nonprofit organization that assists adults with developmental disabilities. My motivation to practice medicine grew from my love of research and my desire to help communities with limited access to healthcare and services. It deepened when I participated in my grandfather’s care during the last months of his life.
I am very excited and honored to be a part of the COMET class of 2022-2023! I look forward to working as part of a team alongside Stanford clinicians and faculty. This invaluable experience will broaden my knowledge about patient care and help me on my path to becoming a health care professional.
In my spare time, I enjoy gardening, knitting, hiking, and spending time with friends and family."
"Hi there! My name is Lona and I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I recently graduated from Brown University with a degree in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures and I’m super excited to be an incoming COMET fellow. In undergrad, I worked as an EMT, peer tutor for a variety of classes and volunteered at both Project Sunshine and a local Spanish speaking clinic. Through these activities, I really enjoyed blending both my interests in medicine and cultures associated with the Spanish language.
I have wanted to work in the healthcare field ever since I can remember and truly could not imagine myself pursuing any other field. As a fellow, I am excited to grow by learning more medical terminology beyond that of the emergency medical field and watching a physician problem-solve and diagnose patients’ conditions. I also will relish the opportunity to observe how my physician mentors build relationships with and create safe environments for their patients.
During my free time, I enjoy baking, being active, hiking with my dogs, and spending quality time with my friends and family. I am excited to move up to Palo Alto and learn a lot from my physician mentors, fellow colleagues all the while continuing to pursue my hobbies!"
"Hello everyone! My name is Munisa Farook. I was born in the US but I grew up and spent most of my life in South East Asia, specifically in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. I graduated from Texas A&M University (Class of 2022) with a B.S in Psychology and a minor in Arabic Studies.
My family and I would visit Bangladesh every year or so to keep in touch with our roots and to visit family. One of my fondest memories is of my aunt taking time off of work and dedicating her medical license to providing for people of her home village. I remember watching her diagnose and prescribe medication for the people who wouldn’t have any other access to healthcare.
My interactions with such exposures sparked my dedication to humanitarian aid and social work. In high school I was fortunate enough to start an initiative to raise money for Rohingya refugees who are victims of ethnic cleansing. One of my biggest goals is to be able to provide assistance like my aunt at refugee camps and underserved populations.
My interest in medicine solidified when I was in my high school IB psychology and biology classes. I connected greatly with the content and recognized my fascination in human physiology and psychological processes. Now, I aspire to become a PA so I can combine my passion for medicine and helping people.
I enjoy running, traveling, spending quality time with friends and family, playing my viola, growing spiritually and religiously, baking and watching TV. I particularly love watching The Office and anime.
I am incredibly honored to be able to be a part of the COMET Fellowship Class of 2022-2023 and am very excited to gain invaluable experiences that will help me to grow professionally and personally."
"Hello! My name is Nadeen and I’m based in the Bay Area. I recently graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience (with a focus on mind, brain, and behavior) and a secondary in Psychology.
During my undergraduate years, I had the incredible opportunity to work in a cognitive neuroscience lab where I ultimately completed my thesis on developmental prosopagnosia (face blindness). I combined neuroimaging and behavioral techniques to investigate patterns of cortical thickness and examine the relationship between cortical thickness and behavioral performance on facial recognition tasks. Beyond research, I was also involved in cultural affinity organizations as well as an immigrant advocacy group.
As a fellow, I’m looking forward to gaining more clinical experience and learning from a phenomenal group of healthcare professionals. In my free time, I enjoy reading, playing volleyball, and being outdoors."
"Hi! My name is Rosa Lopez. I was born and raised in San Diego, CA and I am a first-generation college graduate from the University of California, San Diego with a B.S in Human Biology. In my free time I enjoy reading, watching sunsets, movie nights, and spending time with friends and family. I also enjoy working with kids so throughout my undergrad I worked at the YMCA as an after-school Enrichment Leader where I led kids in art, science, and teambuilding activities.
Growing up with immigrant parents, I learned from a young age how to be an advocate and an interpreter for my family. This sparked an interest in my involvement in the UCSD Student Run Free Clinic where I volunteered as a Spanish Interpreter and helped underserved populations receive quality healthcare in their native language. My passion for medicine grew and I started volunteering as a Medical Interpreter at the Palomar Health Hospital because I wanted to keep trying to close the gap in the language barrier in the healthcare system. It is a privilege to be able to be present during these visits and through these experiences, I am motivated to become a physician to help my community navigate the healthcare system.
I am so excited to be part of the Fellowship Class and to work alongside like-minded faculty and fellows. As a COMET fellow, I hope to learn from the clinical experience, gain insight from mentors, and help provide quality care to everyone."
"Hello everyone! My name is Ruby Vidales-Flores. I grew up in Stockton, California. I attended and graduated from the University of California, Davis in the fall of 2020. At UC Davis I doubled majored in Chicano/a Studies and Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior (NPB). I was always interested in medicine when I began taking care of my first dog. I enjoyed healing him when he suffered from a wound. I wanted to be a veterinarian, but that changed when I attended a high school called Health Careers Academy which focused on healthcare electives.
When I began attending Health Careers Academy, I enrolled in electives such as medical terminology, sports medicine, and human body systems. That is when I realized I wanted to pursue a career in human medicine because I was fascinated with the human physiology. After taking Chicano/a courses and volunteering at a dentist office, I realized that the Spanish speaking community was underserved and had a language barrier when coming into healthcare offices. I combined my interest in helping my Spanish speaking community along with my interest in human anatomy and physiology by double majoring in Chicano/a studies and NPB.
As a COMET Fellow, I look forward to learning more about how I can become a great physician by gaining clinical skills along physicians. I am also excited to meet other fellows and learn about their interests in medicine!"
Sasha Malalasekera Fernando
My name is Sasha Malalasekera Fernando, and I grew up in London. I decided to become a doctor when I was fourteen and eventually fulfilled my dream when I qualified as a Primary Care physician in England, after graduating from the University of Exeter. I subsequently became a Member of The Royal College of General Practitioners after completing my specialist training in 2018, the equivalent of completing a Family Medicine Residency in America.
After a whirlwind transatlantic romance, I decided to move to the Bay Area in 2019 to live with my husband who grew up here. Sadly, my husband lost his dad unexpectedly in 2013, so although I knew it meant having to take Boards and re-do Residency over here, I felt that it would be worthwhile in order to keep his family together. We have now been married for almost four years and have a little boy named Ethan.
To me, being a doctor is central to my identity and a lifetime commitment. Working with patients and healthcare colleagues is incredibly fulfilling and brings me joy. As a COMET fellow, I am excited to gain invaluable clinical experience in America, participate in unique research opportunities and build lifelong connections with colleagues and mentors. I’m currently in the process of sitting my USMLE exams and will be applying to Family Medicine Residency later this year.
I enjoy reading to my toddler, have become a big Warriors basketball fan and love checking out new restaurants with my husband!"
"Hello, my name is Soumya Turumella! I grew up in the Bay Area and recently graduated from Santa Clara University, where I majored in Biology with a minor in Public Health. In my spare time, I enjoy drawing and painting!
My first exposure to medicine was through my personal health struggles which allowed me to develop strong relationships with my physicians. During high school, I started volunteering at El Camino Hospital where I came to value my interactions with patients and the sense of relief I could provide for them despite my small role. As an undergraduate on the pre-med track, I continued to volunteer in the ER department where I witnessed disparities in access to care. These experiences in the ER motivated me to pursue a minor in Public Health, equipping me with a population-based perspective as a future physician. I currently volunteer at an Urgent Care clinic where I shadow and assist the doctor in seeing patients.
While at Santa Clara University, I became interested in community service leading me to organize events for San Jose’s unhoused population which brought attention to their plight. For the last three years, I’ve been researching the PARP protein family in the Carter-O’Connell Lab at my University funded by research grants.
As a COMET fellow, I look forward to building relationships with Stanford healthcare staff while I learn more clinical skills and gain exposure."
Sydni Au Hoy
"Hello! My name is Sydni Au Hoy. I am originally from Hawai’i and moved to Southern California where I attended Chapman University. I recently graduated with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies.
During my undergraduate experience, I explored the intricacies between diagnostic and treatment outcomes through research on functional seizures, which elucidated the importance and influence of patient-provider interactions on treatment motivation. During the pandemic, I also began volunteering at a local children’s hospital that cares for pediatric patients from across the Pacific Islands. Spending time with recovering patients and their families allowed me to learn about the extent and impact of receiving medical treatment on various aspects of their lives. From these experiences, I became increasingly interested in the patient experience. As I pursue a career in medicine, I hope to engage in many opportunities that will allow me to gain exposure to a variety of perspectives within and surrounding healthcare. I am also thankful to all those who have supported me thus far and I hope to continue meeting inspiring individuals on this path.
As a COMET fellow, I look forward to observing first-hand the multidisciplinary dynamic of healthcare teams. I am also excited to continue learning about the patient experience and the delivery of quality patient care from an incredible team of healthcare professionals."
"Hi! My name is Tatianna Quezada. I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. I recently graduated from the University of San Diego with a B.A in Behavioral Neuroscience. In my free time, I love to be outdoors, making memories with friends, and going to the beach!
During my undergraduate years, I joined Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honor Society, Psi Chi Honor Society, and am currently a Pre-Health Peer Mentor for incoming students. However, my favorite part of my undergraduate experience was I participated in USD Medical Brigades–traveling to both Ghana and Panama. In my first year, I served as Co-Fundraising Chair and in my senior year I became Vice President. Through this organization, I have been able to enter rural, under-resourced communities and set up sustainable health systems, fueling my passion for public health and tackling health inequalities. My fascination with science and medicine, as well as my abroad experiences has led me to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant. As a PA, I hope to improve the quality of life for my patients by taking care of them
with humility, respect, and thoughtfulness. I want to be a healthcare provider they can trust and feel as though their health is in good hands.
I am excited and humbled to be a part of the COMET Fellowship class of 2022-2023. I am eager to work alongside amazing health care professionals and other fellows. With the help of this program, I hope to expand my medical knowledge, observe therapeutic communication, and learn through valuable mentorships."
"Hello! My name is Taylor McKelvy and I was born and raised in the Bay Area. I recently graduated from Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences. I am currently working in Santa Clara County as an EMT. In my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors and cooking for my family and friends.
My passion for healthcare came as a result of my type-1 diabetes diagnosis. When I was diagnosed at eight years old, I struggled with the challenges this condition presented to me. I chose to study nutrition in college because I wanted to know the detailed science behind how certain foods impacted my blood glucose levels. Throughout my youth, I rotated through several Endocrinologists, but I felt that the lines of communication between me and their teams were not always so transparent. It wasn’t until I surrounded myself with other type-1 diabetics that I fully grasped the components of managing my condition. In addition, I have come to see the disparities in the quality of diabetes care and health outcomes among racial/ethnic minorities. As a future Physician Assistant, I plan to help individuals better understand diabetes and I hope to advocate for policy change regarding access to diabetes care.
I am honored to become a member of the COMET fellowship and I look forward to expanding my clinical experience to further my career in medicine alongside several highly established mentors."
"Hello! My name is Traci Shiu. I am from Sunnyvale, California, and I recently graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Molecular and Medical Microbiology and Minors in Education and Public Health. In my free time, I like to crochet and watch movies with friends and family.
My motivation for a career in medicine stems from personal experiences and observations of how interactions with the healthcare system are powerful in changing aspects of life beyond physical health. Working in a harm reduction clinic has shown me firsthand how these services can lead to broader wellbeing. When volunteering with local elementary schools, I have observed how access to healthcare facilitates equity in education. Both of these community-based experiences have highlighted how I could bridge the gap between different dimensions of health and wellness through medicine.
I explored basic science, clinical, and public health research, which helped me grow an understanding of health and medicine at different levels. My interest in public health and education motivated my undergraduate research, which investigated the effects of Zika virus on early neurodevelopment. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve educated children and Davis community members about vaccines and testing. I’ve also played a role in informing local guidelines by collecting data on public health guideline compliance.
I am very excited to work with other COMET fellows and mentors to expand my understanding of healthcare and medicine through direct patient experiences and clinical research. I’m looking forward to using the skills learned with COMET as I grow as a healthcare professional."
"Hello! My name is Vivian Zhang. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio but grew up in Fontana, California. At 10 years old, my parents and I moved to Beijing. After graduating from high school, my mom and I moved back to Southern California, completing a very long round- trip.
I’m a recent graduate of Santa Clara University with a bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering. During my time as an undergraduate, I was fortunate enough to be a part of SCU Global Medical Brigades and volunteer abroad at Panama City, Panama. At Panama, we worked with local community members and healthcare professionals to provide a sustainable source of healthcare to their communities. Inspired by the local community members, this experience inspired me to examine how I can best support my own communities here in the US and informed my decision to become a physician. Apart from my academic life, I love to watch movies, play board games, and explore new restaurants with friends. My hobbies include reading, photography, skateboarding, and tennis.
I’m incredibly grateful and excited to be a part of the COMET class of 2022-2023! I look forward to learning from Stanford’s medical professionals and hopefully getting to know some fellow scribes!"
"Hello everyone! My name is William Dennis and I am from Chino, California. I moved up to the
Bay Area in order to attend school at Santa Clara University (SCU) and have recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology, as well as minors in Biotechnology and Classical Studies. In addition to my studies at SCU, I had the pleasure of spending three and a half years working within a biochemical research lab, tutoring science students, and was a member of both the Classics and Biology Honor Societies.
During the summer I volunteered my time at a regional hospital near my home town (San Antonio Regional Hospital) and was incredibly fortunate enough to shadow within a smaller family practice clinic. Run by an exceptional team of a doctor and nurses, their holistic approach and obvious connection to each of their patients contrasted greatly with the superficial, monotonous physician-patient relationship that many people might expect when visiting a medical professional. Their work reaffirmed the positive experiences I had within a hospital setting as a child with degenerative hearing loss and all of these experiences have inspired me to begin working within the medical field.
In my free time I love snowboarding, reading fiction and cooking and I am incredibly excited to join this fellowship at Stanford and do my small part in improving the healthcare experience of those who need it."
"Hi! My name is Yanny Jiang and I am from San Francisco, CA. I recently graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Human Biology.
During my undergraduate, I transitioned into the pre-nursing and spent the majority of my time creating an organization called Nursing Hearts, to support and create a community with other pre-nursing students at UCSD because there is no nursing program. I also served on the Student Council board for three years where I got the opportunity to address and voice the opinions of other students and work with other amazing undergraduate students to build a strong community at UCSD. I worked as a Clinical Research Assistant at All of Us Research to assist in the collection of a more diverse health database for precision medicine. Furthermore, I was a CPR Instructor for Alpha Epsilon Delta where I certify students to receive their CPR license through AHA. Aside from school, I love to cook, binge Korean drama shows, and weightlift!
My desire to work in healthcare stems from a program called Health Academy when I was in high school. I was exposed to different healthcare careers and became interested because of all the meaningful connections nurses had with the patients. I admire how nurses provide holistic care because healing not only involves the body but also involved mental and social health. I am extremely excited to be part of COMET to learn from different healthcare professionals while creating meaningful connections."