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Looking In A Hidden Gem

Anthony Khong, Class of 2020, wasn't thinking about medical school as an undergraduate and he'd never heard of Drexel University College of Medicine. In fact, it wasn't until he went on volunteer missions in Ghana and Honduras that he started to consider a future in health care. That's when a friend told him about the Interdepartmental Medical Science program at Drexel. He was drawn to the idea that this pre-med program offered courses at the medical school level.








Drexel wasn't on my radar at all, so I didn't have any preconceived notions about it. I'm from the West Coast, and I never gave much thought to schools in the East. To be honest, I imagined big East Coast cities as crowded and uptight and unfriendly. When I started at Drexel, I realized I was totally wrong. The campus is friendly and comfortable, and the faculty is accessible and down to earth. The professors listen to what we have to say and they want our feedback. You can't walk a few steps without people waving to you and telling you to have a good day.


I immediately felt at home at Drexel. I grew up among a tightknit community of Vietnamese refugees in California. I was surprised to find the same sense of community here. Everyone was sharing notes, sharing ideas. There are no walls. This held true after I chose Drexel for my MD program. People think of medical school as being competitive, but here we work together. It's hard work, no doubt, but the emphasis on group learning and collaboration makes it a wonderful learning experience.

'You can study medical science anywhere, but Drexel is a place where you learn how to care for people.' - Anthony Khong, Class of 2020


I didn't know just how diverse these programs would be. I love that I'm part of a group of people with roots from around the globe and all kinds of experiences. There's always an interesting conversation to have. That gives us an advantage as medical students — we can explore other cultures, learn how to relate to patients from different backgrounds and gain much more perspective about our role in health care. We may come from one sort of mold, but we leave here and enter the medical field with a much broader mindset. I'm still hoping to do more international volunteer work, and Drexel is preparing me for that.


Another thing that some people don't realize is that this College of Medicine truly emphasizes patient interaction and bedside manner. We learn how to listen. You can study medical science anywhere, but Drexel is a place where you learn how to care for people. I've seen it in myself, how I've changed since starting the program. I'm more empathetic and compassionate. I have more awareness about what patients go through because we talk about loss, we think about human experiences and how we should treat people. I'm the first person in my family to go to college, and there was a time when I was just happy to get into medical school. I didn't realize what was in store for me, but now when I go out and talk to people, they're impressed. I'm learning what it means to have a Drexel medical education.

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Anthony Khong, Drexel MD Program, Class of 2020

   People think of medical school as being competitive, but here we work together.   
- Anthony Khong, Class of 2020