Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Medical Student Interview

Date : 4/26/2020
Time: 6:05

Interviewer: Richard Zhu
Interviewed: Kevin Chen and Alice Yu
Alice Yu, 2nd Year UCLA medical school student (UPenn Graduate).
Kevin Chen, 1st Year UCLA medical school student (Harvard Graduate)
​Richard Zhu, freshman at North Hollywood High School ​and Cindy Xie, senior at North Hollywood High School

Q (Question):
A (Alice Yu):
K (Kevin Chen):

Q: Could you talk about your experiences from Middle School to Medical School?
K : Growing up in boston, I went to east coast schools. I went to harvard for 4 years as an undergrad, and then went to Boston's children's hospital, then moved to LA to attend the UCLA medical school. 
A: I forgot the middle school experience, but what I remember was I went to Uchicago associated highschools, and a pathway that led me to UCLA. 

Q: Were there any extracurricular activities that you took that helped you pursue a medical career path? 
Kevin: Through high school, I didn’t really have a specific extracurricular path. Instead, I focused more on helping people out. I feel that being a doctor is more about seeing if you actually like helping this out. 
Alice: It’s kind of early to specifically prepare for medical school applications, considering that the audience is primarily middle school and highschoolers. Doing things for applications sake is fake and easily seen.

Q: Is there anything you would do differently in highschool and middle school? 
A: I will cut down on the extracurriculars. I spent myself doing all sorts of things, such as math club, as I felt pressured to do the other extracurriculars.
K: I will focus more on my own personal interests, try to make more friends, and put time into things that I am passionate about. 

Q: How did you know medecine was the right path for you?
K: I felt that I really wanted to study medicine. I thought that life wasn’t fair, as I was personally affected as a lot of illnesses. It was a combination of being affected by conditions, and interest in highschool.
A: My older sister was a doctor, so initially I did not want to become a doctor. Afterwards, I saw how beneficial it was, and gravitated and grew more inclined to that position. 

Q: What did you not expect about being a medical student? 
K: The transition was tough, as I had to adjust from doing experiments to studying and testing for school 
A: The attitude was different. In medical college, you learn from day 1 that you have to learn and apply the knowledge that you learn and it is not about passing a test 

Q: What did you expect about medical school? 
A: There is a lot of testing and growth involved in medicine.  
K: You have to be ready to be in debt for a while, and move your life around, as it is a tough class. Everything is so crazy, for instance, residency you only know in 1 day where you are going. There are a lot of tough sacrifices involved in this career.

Q: Can you talk about your experience in pre med in undergraduate? When do you decide that you go into med school? 
K: You don’t really have to make a decision on when you chose to become a doctor. Also, the colleges aren’t really different in terms of the college. Pre med is really competitive. So, try to find a group of friends with diverse backgrounds, and grow and learn from each other. 
A: I went to UPENN, it was very competitive. Try not to invest too much time in classes that you don’t like, and focus on the stuff you want to know.

Q: Anything else?
A: Try to take sociology! It’s a useful course.
K: In the asian community, I think it feels like a culture of one upping and a toxic competitive culture. Instead, my parents were very hands off, as they gave me the freedom to grow. This is instead of following a template to get into college. Let it be up to the kid. 
A: Yeah, I agree, there is no perfect formula for success. Furthermore, you can have a successful resume, but the interview is still extremely important. Don’t neglect the social and academic portions of med school. 
K: To build on alice’s point, you need to build up your social skills if you want to pursue a career in college. If you are building and collaborating with your peers, you will build up the necessary social skills. Also, be more culturally and socially aware, especially now. 
A: You don’t need to stress about the SAT, as it isn’t everything. 

Q: Are there any specialties that you guys are leaning to at the moment? 
A: The thing about medicine, you don’t really learn much until you have to execute it. 
K: Yeah, I am not worried about that right now, I am worried and thinking solely about passing my classes right now. 

Q:  As parents, how can we draw the line? any suggestions?
K: I do agree. For every kid that is successful, there are also some who are less successful. Personally, I think that a child becomes more focused on pleasing their parents instead of achieving something that is personal to them. Personally, if I felt that need, then I would resist and push back. 
A: I think that instead that course correction is a better way to parent. If there was a controlling body, for sure, I would have felt resentful. 
K: I want everyone to know that there is a balance between a controlling and over regulating parent. Please strike that balance. 

Q: Has anything impressive happened to you during your study in the medical field? Like the things that you didn’t expect to happen during this journey, or the things that you found very interesting
K: Going into med school, everyone knows the big ones, so I did not know that there were so many different specializations. 

Q: Which habits or personal management you built up since your high school benefit you in medical school?
A: Try to learn how you learn best. Also, don’t procrastinate on the study. 
K: The most important thing to me was learning how to manage my time.  The best ability is to set a schedule and be able to do the things you need to do. Try to plan out your study routine as well. 

Q:Can you describe the process of becoming a doctor?
K: For highschool try to focus more on applying to college, don’t think to hard about the classes you take. There is a pathway. You can either skip the 4 years and go directly into med school, or you can wait a while before applying to go into med school. You also need to take some necessary classes, and then apply to med school. After med school, you apply to a residency, and go into a hospital. 
A: The shortest process is to go from 4 years of med school, then go to 3 years of residency, and then go to specialized hospitals and departments. 

Q: Do you have any apps that you use to help you study and not procrastinate
Answer (both): A unanimous no. Just turn off the phone. 

Q: Do you need to have ‘perfect’ grades?
A: Grades are only one part of the picture. However, what matters more is that you build a cohesive image about why you don’t want to be a doctor. 
K: Don’t stress about them, I got a couple C’s in college, it worked out okay, just don’t worry about it. 

Q:Is there any creative work you do when training to be a doctor?
A: Not right now, just studying to pass exams. 

Q:Does the medical school use any software to help you to decide what kind of doctor you want to be? Just curious? Do you think being good at drawing helps you to take medical notes?
A: We sort of fumble and bumble our ways through to find our field. 
K: They aren’t doing much. 

Q:Is it necessary to volunteer in hospitals in high school? Is the volunteer work very important for application to MD school? How many years are usually required? 
A: I think the med schools would like to see that you have some personal exposure towards med school. 
K: It doesn’t have to be in a hospital. The main thing is trying to get into college. However it is proborally necessary to figure it out whether or not you want to be in a hospital. 

Q:Can you introduce some ideas about the BS/MD program? Do you think it's a good choice?
A: If you do BS/MD, try to do hospital experience. 
K: You don’t have to do the MCAT, as well as other various programs. However, it is hard to determine whether or not you want to be a doctor at the young age at 17 or 18. 

Q:What is the MCAT?
A: It is the medical admissions standardized test. Just the SAT for Med school. 

Q:Does a biology related major in college help in the future if you are going to med school? 
A: It has no impact on the medication. However, it is personally beneficial when taking the advanced social and psychological courses. 

Q:Alice, you mentioned that it's nice to take some sociology classes, can you talk a little bit more about it?
A: Yeah, for a densely populated city like LA. It is important to understand the sociology climate around the city of LA, as you understand how the system works as a result. 

Q:Is med school hard?
A: It’s not easy.
K: Yeah, it’s pretty hard. A thing that I discovered was that as life goes on, things get pretty hard. So the best thing to do is just to find your’re own internal motivation to push hard and get through med school.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

2/1/2020 Meeting Minutes (First of the decade!)

Attendees: Trevor Trinh, Andie Liu, Richard Zhu, Alex Lu, Holly Wang

  • Action Items:
    • Trevor/Andie, senior sitdown 3/1/20
    • Alex, robotics follow up 2/7/20
    • Richard, volunteer hour report 2/15/20

  • Next Meeting:
    • Zoom meeting
    • 3/7/20 7:00pm

2/1/20 Minutes:

  • Alex follow up with robotics - February 7, 2020
    • Talk with Elliot and Nick for robotics competition
    • Link with the Mr. Millan and have weekly commitment
    • Go to first meeting with teacher in charge with partner
  • Andie, larger project
    • Discussion about books and how it moves you
    • Talk about books that people don’t read but initiate meaningful discussion
  • Andie high school senior facetime - March 1, 2020 | 2:00-3:00pm
    • Very open to give advice and stuff
    • Trevor bring in one or two more people to help guide people
      • Less people more efficient 
    • Sit down and start zoom meeting as well
  • Andie has many cool products to sell, repay costs and graciously all profits go to our group!
  • Holly has paid for unlimited zoom meeting minutes, ask holly for password to start a meeting.
    • Let everyone know that zoom meeting
  • Holly has a nice place in Chatsworth with coffee and nice chill, needs to open if want to do
  • New bank account
    • Has some seed meeting and have parents donating
  • Richard promote with more people about the sfvcca yg, and to let them know about the president's award and the upcoming ceremony - February 15, 2020
    • 2 weeks is a good time to get membership and volunteer first report

Monday, January 13, 2020

Meeting Summary 11/12/2020

  • We reflected on the Computer Science career fair that took place during winter break. We talked about the next career fair, which is still undecided. We might invite professor Liu from CSUN if we can for the next time, but in the future, we might invite guest speakers (high school students, college students, professors, etc) to talk to us via Skype or FaceTime. If people have fields they are particularly interested, they should inform Holly.
  • We talked about raising funds for Youth Group. Holly, Authur, and other people are selling couplets (for Spring Festival) and magic show tickets. Andie is selling original products (badges, charms, postcards, stickers) for her club within her school. If any Youth Group member is interested in “contracting for” the selling of these products, Andie will provide them with the products and any profit (earned by Youth Group members) will go to Youth Group.
  • If the Robotics program for elementary school students led by Prof Liu is actually going to happen (which we aren’t sure yet), Alex will be in charge of arranging it. Currently, he is trying to contact Prof Liu for more information. 
  • We plan to start some monthly literature discussion sessions, inspired by Holly and Authur. We want to have everyone free to choose the book they want to read, so what we do in the discussion will be that each of us summarizes their book, shares their thoughts and the reason they recommend/don’t recommend it. The discussions will be very liberal, and people can always extend their discussion about a single interesting thought/theme mentioned, which we believe will be meaningful. 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Lecture Notes, Tech Career Presentation

Here is a summary of the First Lecture in the Career exploration series, the Tech Industry

Youth group career path series: Computer science tech industry
Lecture Notes
People: Mr. Don Sun, Mr. Shiang Long, Dr. Chang Li
Mr. Don Sun
-         Works at Open X
-         Is a product manager currently
-         Was interested in computer games, which lead him to coding
Mr. Shiang Long:
-         Just started his job
-         Looked at CS and it seemed like a good fit for him
Dr. Chiang Li
-         Works for IBM
-         Liked math and science as a high schooler
-         When she got to college, she became more interested in Computer Science, instead of Engineering
Q: What is a typical day in the tech field?
Mr. Don Sun: There are typically quite a few meetings, were people talk about what they are doing. It typically varies, as sometimes I work on my own, I work with others, or when we collaborate together
Mr. Shiang Long: Every morning we will have various meetings, and I typically have a lot of meetings on all aspects of the project.
Dr. Chiang Li: It is typically flexible, as long as you are on schedule to complete your task.
Q: What do you like about doing your job?
Dr. Chiang Li: It provides a decent pay, and you work with a lot of smart people, and you work with different kinds of people with different types of background.
Don: I feel like I am solving a lot of interesting problems, I feel that coding is like a set of building blocks, as you can create some new solutions with the tools given. I feel that I have more direction, as you have more guidelines and standards than school.
Shiang: I feel that my field varies and changes a lot.

Q: What is the ugly truth behind your job, what do you not like about your job?
Shiang: There is a lot of pressure, as you have to be on top of your job. There also is some amount of politics involved.
Don: This is different than school, as the dynamic of group projects changes, as the politics in the job varies differently.
Chiang: IBM is so big, and it can feel overwhelming. However, there are a lot of resources that you can fully utilize and you can also find your own mentor to guide along the path. It takes some time to adjust to this framework, but give it time, and it will work.
Q: How do you adapt to the changes in the field?
Shiang: It is important to be adaptable and have a good manager.
Don: I adapt by being observant and having a good grasp of your surroundings.
Q: What does success look like in your field?
Chiang: It depends on what you want to be. For instance, in IBM you can choose the management or tech path, which allows you to expand your skills in those respective areas.
Don: I’ll just speak for myself, as a software engineer. I feel that as an engineer, you need to solve problems at a higher level of abstraction, as that will allow you to tackle general problems and be more involved in your field.
Shiang: I feel that I have outgrown that fresh phase, and as a result, I focus more on the bonuses, and rewards that I get, as I understand that I cannot be complacent, as I am easily replaced.
Q: What would you say to your past self, as a lot of people are high schoollers in this lecture.
Shiang: I feel that it is important to seek out internships and career opportunities
Don: I agree. I would also add that expanding your math maturity is important, as it gives you the tool kit to understand and code large problems.
Chiang: I feel that I shouldn’t have worried, as I now know that life is full of adventures and challenges, and I can’t even remember my current child desires and wants academically. Another thing that I would like to add is that I recommend you seek and bring along your desires and interests in college. The lessons learned in this quest will help you out a lot. For instance, in IBM, there are a lot of variety among the various fields, as you have people who do psychology, and AI projects. I also believe that as highschoolers, you should try and spend more time with your parents, as I believe highschoolers need to emphasize family time, especially as that young age.
Q: How do you maintain work life balance?
Shiang: I feel that work life balance is hard to maintain in a CS job, as many jobs require for you to be on call, in case your system breaks down, which can cause a lot of stress on this relationship.
Q: What is another skill that you feel is important besides coding?
Chiang: I feel that communicating is an crucial skill besides CS. This is because the ability to connect to people allows for better work ability and collaborate with people. A good way to practice this is by always having a good relationship with your teacher, which can help your teacher to help you down the road.
Don: I think that communication, both verbal and written is especially important, as you are able to express your ideas in a clear manner, helping your group communicate better and better express your ideas. Written communication is also important, as it is a lot more permanent than verbal.
Shiang: I would like people to practice communication skills, as you have to collaborate in groups, and is also needed in various job related projects, such as recruiting.
Q: Is there a class/subject that you didn’t particular think much of in school, but found helpful after becoming a working professional.
Shiang: I believe that school did not prepare me well, as it taught me the basics, but not the actual job experience, which you learn on the job.
Don: I agree. School doesn’t teach you the specifics that you need, it just tells you how to think and learn. However, the way that you think is essentially a different way to think and problem solve, and this diversity can help you in a CS career.
Chiang: I think the biggest thing that school provided me with is that it allowed me to have a baseline, which allowed me to build up and learn a greater amount of things. The solid foundation allowed me to diverge and go into different directions. For high school and college students, I think that you should look around and seek out opportunities from career fairs and professors.
Q: Any word of wisdom or encouragement for the audience?
Shiang: I feel that CS and tech is infiltrating into a lot of fields. An important thing to know that tech will be into everything, and you can use technology to just expand your interests. You don’t have to sit at a computer, just use the skillset CS teaches you.
Don: I feel that CS, if you have an interest in it, it should be a genuine interest, and not things that the other people tell you, and be true to yourself on what you truly want to do.
Chiang: I agree with Don. It is important to be true to yourself, and seek out your interests, and understand and follow your interests. In my opinion, it is best to seek out the things that you are interested in, as you will be significantly more interested and motivated to learn those subjects. I see that coding is a lot of hands on activity. For instance, a lot of the interns, the people do not want to roll up their sleeves and work, so they failed in that aspect of their tasks. In the end, I feel that there are many people who can do a lot in the tech field, as artists can be involved in the UI design.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Youth Group Open House on Dec 1st 2019

The Open House was successful with around 30 parents/students showed up.

PPT can be found at


Friday, September 13, 2019

Youth Group Time Line

Sep 14th, 2019:  SFVCCA Youth Group officially announced to the community that it is up and running!  This date is one day after the Chinese Mid autumn festival. We would like to make this day as anniversary day for youth group,

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Meeting Minutes 9/8/19

Meeting Minutes 9/8/19 

Documented by: Alex Lu
Duration: 8:15 am to 9:00 am   
Participants: Alex Lu, Holly Wang, Aaron Du, Olivia Zhao, Eric Wang, Wendy Shen

9/14/19 Meeting Agenda (5:00 to 5:30)

From 4:00 to 5:00, each officer is recommended to bring some easy games to play with kids


  1. Eric: starts off the meeting and speaks about the youth group (1 minute)
  2. Po (何寶輝): SFVCCA Current present (1 minute)
  3. Wil Lang (朗果偉): Health Club 社長 (3 minutes)
  4. Jack Chen (陳梓湖Heritage Foundation 主任委員 (30 seconds)
  5. Travor Introduce Chiffany Shi, Art/craft teacher for youth group and she will have a few projects on display. She prefers not to give speech. 
  6. Chang Li, will introduce herself as the parent representative (3 minutes)

  1. Each officer/board member will introduce themselves and what they expect out of this youth group 
  2. Alex/ Andie will introduce the different activities we have scheduled 
  3. Arthur will read a thank you note to everyone for their contributions to this youth group.
  4. There will be a Q&A session from the parents  
  5. Summary: Someone will ask for support families for donation (Trevor?) Because we don’t have all the financial kinks sorted out, for now, we will ask for contact information from parents interested in donating. As of now, the goal is that each family will donate around 100-200 dollars to the group in the future. 

Social Media   

  • As of now, Holly is still working on the website. There are still some issues with the wording that will be fixed and the activities list will be added soon. 
  • For now, we will be using Andie’s banner but in the future, we can hold a banner contest along with a logo contest. 
  • Before the 9/14 parent meeting, please review the website. Put something on the blog regarding what you’ve done in the youth group so far. 
  • Please note that everything regarding our social media and internet usage must go through the board or some form of review. A checks-and-balances system must be established but here are a few things to note:
    • There must be someone who approves our changes to the website or social media. This person is hopefully going to be an advisor 
    • Our Youtube channel must be tightly controlled in order to prevent legal issues regarding music, content, etc. 
    • Release forms (like media release) are required 


  • At the moment, the SFVCCA is a bit hesitant to pay for the internet at the SFVCCA facilities. As a result, it is possible that we may have to raise our own funds. 
  • For now, we need a site survey regarding internet usage. We must figure out what we will be using the internet for when we will be using the internet, and where on the facilities will the internet be used. This will allow for easier planning.  
  • Holly is currently working on a set of media usage rules as there must be guidelines on how we use the internet.

Youth Group Structure
  • We need a method to document service hours. This can be through some sort of database or a Google Survey that we can use to ensure that each participant has their hours logged. 
  • An accountant or treasurer is required to tell us the expenses regarding our youth group for transparency and future reference.