Anderson, Indiana

AU student pursues medical internship in Thailand

Fri, 2013-11-08 11:24 -- univcomm
November 8, 2013

Joy Kang, an Anderson University junior, watched her parents serve as missionaries in various communities while growing up. She was inspired by their work and wanted to do something similar.

Kang was born in South Korea but moved with her parents to Thailand and lived there for 12 years. When it came time to choose a college, she began her search for Christian schools in the United States. “I started looking up Christian colleges that provide scholarships to missionary kids,” said Kang.

Kang’s decision to attend AU was solidified when she was awarded a scholarship to help her pursue a major in biology. Then she learned about the Center for Public Service (CPS) at AU. CPS is an honors program that helps students connect with professionals who work in their future career field.

After applying to and being accepted into CPS, Kang was encouraged to find an internship in an area she felt passionate about. “I used to go to the library in elementary school and look at the encyclopedia of the human body,” said Kang. “I realized I liked science and wanted to be a doctor.” That love of science led Kang on her internship search.

Going back to the place that sparked her interests, Kang chose to explore internship opportunities in Thailand. There, she was given the opportunity to study at the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit with health care professionals. Located in Mae Sot, Thailand, the research unit addresses health-related questions directly relevant to the population.

While in Thailand, Kang was included in tasks that medical interns in the United States would often be excluded from. Kang gathered and analyzed data and also had the privilege of traveling to clinics in the mountains every morning to provide free medical aid to patients in need.

Kang also had opportunities to connect with the doctors outside of field work. “I really loved having dinner with the doctors there,” said Kang. “They gave me lots of advice about being a doctor. The most valuable lesson I learned was that you can’t be a doctor unless you have a servant’s heart.”

Ina Yoon, a close friend of Kang, believes Kang has the qualifications to succeed in the medical field. “Because she is such a friendly and helpful person, I believe she will make an exceptional doctor,” said Yoon. “She will be willing to communicate and help the patients as much as she can.”

With her work experience in Thailand and the support of her friends, Kang hopes to one day become a doctor with a servant heart. “She wouldn't be like any other doctors who are indifferent to their patients,” said Yoon. “She would be willing to take the next step in developing a relationship with her patients until they have fully recovered.”

— Anna Rayis is a senior from Columbus, Ohio, majoring in communication arts. Rayis is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.