Name: Howard “Howie” Pyo
Medical Title/Credentials: 3rd Year Medical Student
Medical School: David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Undergraduate: University of California, Berkeley
Favorite Hobby: I love gardening, fishing, bushcraft, golf, and trying new food.
Why did you choose this profession? It was a gradual process. Starting in high school, I was volunteering in hospitals and homeless clinics and I was drawn towards talking to them and the interactions I had with them. That's when I realized I wanted to work with people. I was also always interested in biology and science so when I started college, I started shadowing doctors and observing what they did/what impact they made. That's when I really learned what medicine entails and began to fall in love with the field.
Biggest Inspiration: My family. They're pretty much everything to me and they shaped who I am today. I learn from every single one of my family members: my mom, my dad, my two older sisters. They're all much older than me so I look up to them a lot and get inspired by what they do.
Current Passion Project: Incorporating medicine/health with gardening/horticulture!
Fun Fact: I met David Beckham in the bathroom and he said, “Hey Lad!”.
Any long term career goals for yourself? I just hope that in the future, I do something that I enjoy doing every single day. I want to do something that I'm really passionate about and want to make a difference and impact. And eventually, I want to go out on medical missions and help the people in the third world nations.
What do you think is important to know before anyone decides to get in this field? This field takes a lot of sacrifice. You have to put in your time, study a lot, work a lot, read a lot, and just constantly be doing something. So prepare to give up going to weddings, graduations and so many more important events!
What was the hardest challenge? The work/life balance. My life slowly began to revolve around medical school and it was hard managing other parts of my life that were also important to me. Everyone says 'it's hard' but I didn't realize how much of a toll it takes on you mentally, emotionally, and physically. Thankfully, I have a good support system that helps me stay motivated and healthy throughout my journey.
Any other piece of advice, motivational quote, or message you would like to share? “It’s beauty in the struggle, ugliness in the success.” – Jermaine Cole
I'm still very early in the process and I don't have much experience yet. But my biggest advice is to talk to as many people in the field as you can. There's always at least one thing that you can learn from each person you talk to. And since this is a selfless profession, really know if this is your passion. Know if this is something you want to do for the rest of your life because that will be your biggest motivation when things get difficult.