Humans of UP

Phu Nguyen

“I chose the University of Portland for the small Catholic private school feel and it was close to home. You know, the typical UP answer.” While Phu, a Portland native, may have had a very simple reason for coming to the University of Portland, his goals for after graduation are not quite so easy. “I’m a Bio [Biology] Major right now and I’m looking into Pre-Med [Pre-Medical] School.” Phu’s father, an immigrant from Vietnam, could not speak English upon arriving in the country. Phu would often have to translate for him, leading him to pursue a career in the field. “I want to work with the Vietnamese elderly Community and help bridge the disparity that exists between the elderly non English speaking Vietnamese community and the medical field.” Phu has spent time shadowing in local Portland clinics and has seen first hand when people come in, unable to understand some of the paperwork that is sent to them. “They would come in and ask us [me] what a letter, that the insurance company sent to them, meant or what the paper from the hospital was telling them.” Phu expresses his desire for understanding but also wants to put the human element back into medical Practice. “Now they have machines that send out the forms in all kinds of languages but sometimes the people might still might not have the education to fully understand it and that’s where the personal element is lost.”

humans of UP

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