Danny Low | Anthropology & Chemistry

From: Kirkland, WA

Pomona Days: Class of 2011 | Major: Anthropology, Minor: Chemistry

Current Employment: Medical Student Year 4 at University of Washington, Fogarty Global Health Scholar at Uganda Cancer Institute

Past Employment: I’ve been a research assistant with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Uganda Cancer Institute, the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust, and the Kenya Medical Research Institute. I’ve also worked as an Executive Assistant at Repair the World (small non-profit in New York/Seattle).


 

I came to Pomona without any concrete dream other than to do something that I felt was meaningful and impacted people in a positive way. I had an inkling that that vision might lead me to medicine, but I was really open to anything. Science always intrigued me and when my family members encountered health crises, I felt that pursuing medicine would be a great opportunity to make positive change. But what most excited me was hearing people’s stories and exploring how those varying narratives influenced people's health. That’s how I ended up majoring in anthropology - I felt that to be the best doctor I could be, I didn’t need any specific scientific knowledge, but rather I needed to learn how to engage with people from myriad cultures and backgrounds. In this process, I developed an affinity for East African culture and spent 10 months between Tanzania and Kenya over the course of my time at Pomona, working on various healthcare projects.

After graduating from Pomona, I took a year off before starting medical school. I ended up doing public health work at an orphanage in Honduras for 2.5 months, before going to Malawi where I conducted HIV/AIDS research.

I’m now between my 3rd and 4th years of medical school at the University of Washington. Currently, I’m on a Fellowship gap year working in Kampala, Uganda at the Uganda Cancer Institute, researching barriers to care among HIV+ cancer patients, and simultaneously examining end-of-life practices here. I’m most interested in poverty medicine and plan on pursuing a career as a Family Medicine physician in an underserved area. 

As far as advice is concerned, please feel free to reach out to me and I’ll provide as specific of advice as I can. Generically, I’d say the following: explore what you’re passionate about and don’t be afraid of discovering that that is not necessarily what you thought it was going to be. To do that effectively, you need to challenge your comfort zone and you need to explicitly schedule time to self-reflect on what you’re doing and what you’re finding meaningful. Next, surround yourself with people who will challenge you and who will hold you accountable to your dreams. Finally, value your relationships. You’ll learn most, grow most, and find most meaning in the connections that you make with people.