Hannah Nguyen, MD

Hannah Nguyen, MD

Graduation Date: 2021
Arrowhead Regional Medical Center

Since graduating from SGU, California native Hannah Nguyen, MD ’21, currently a psychiatry resident at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, CA, has engaged in many new and exciting opportunities as a result of her medical training.

One of her biggest accomplishments thus far has been the research that she published with her co-authors in the medical journal, Journal of Osteopathic Family Physicians of California (JOFPCA). The article titled “Effects of Cannabis Use During Pregnancy,” was guided by wanting to inform the public on the risks of marijuana use during pregnancy.

“We chose to publish on marijuana use during pregnancy because it is a widely used substance and predicted to be even more commonly used in the future. There is misconception about marijuana use and we wanted to get data on what the risks are for using marijuana during pregnancy,” Dr. Nguyen said.

Dr. Nguyen and her colleagues observed an association with increased hearing difficulties in newborns of mothers who used marijuana during pregnancy among other findings.

In October 2023, Dr. Nguyen and her colleagues presented the research at the annual American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Conference in New York City.

Hannah Nguyen standing with her research poster

Dr. Nguyen acknowledges the value of research in medicine, especially in pursuit of providing the highest quality care possible.

“Medicine is constantly changing and updating based on new knowledge. Doctors are forever learning based on the newest and most accurate evidence, which comes from research, to determine the best way to care for our patients,” Dr. Nguyen said. “Contributing to the community through research can be an incredibly rewarding experience.”

This summer, Dr. Nguyen will be starting fellowship training in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Southern California (USC).

We spoke with Dr. Nguyen about why she chose to specialize in child psychiatry, her experience at SGU, and her advice to students applying to medical school.

SGU: Why did you choose psychiatry? How did you come to that decision?

Dr. Nguyen: While I was doing rotations as a third-year medical student, I was exposed to the real-life practice of different medicine specialties, and this is where I found my passion in psychiatry. I enjoy the very humanistic elements required in interviews and rapport-building with patients. Psychiatrists can have a huge impact on improving the quality of life of our patients. I’ve seen the impact of starting with a patient who is completely debilitated due to mental illness to reaching their goals and dreams after the right treatment regimen. On another note, I also think the brain is fascinating; the fact that a 3 lb. organ between our ears has come up with all of society as we know it is incredible.

SGU: Why child and adolescent psychiatry?

Dr. Nguyen: Child and adolescent psychiatry is an amazing field because we can intervene early on in life and completely change a child’s life trajectory. I am excited to learn more in my fellowship at USC to sharpen my skills and become an even better doctor. Working with kids is incredibly rewarding; being able to laugh, play, and see them get better.

SGU: What is your favorite part of your job?

Dr. Nguyen: My favorite thing to hear my patients say to me is, ‘I’m doing a lot better.’ I love being able to accurately diagnose, determine the best course of action, and find the treatment plan that makes people feel better.

SGU: How did SGU help prepare you for your career and specialty?

Dr. Nguyen: The school allowed me to learn the basic sciences and then advance to learning in practice in a clinical setting. I had the opportunity to find my specific passions in medicine, work towards my goal, and eventually match into my number one choice for residency.

St. George’s University: Why did you choose SGU?

Dr. Nguyen: SGU gave me a path to achieve my childhood dream of becoming a doctor. When I was considering options, such as taking more gap years, master’s programs, certificate programs, more research years, or working in the clinical setting, SGU gave me the clearest path to obtaining my MD degree, and I have not looked back since.

SGU: What was your experience at SGU like?

Dr. Nguyen: I enjoyed Grenada to the fullest during my time there. One of my proudest moments was when I caught a barracuda while fishing off the coast of the school. Another proud moment for me was creating the swimming club at SGU where we ran regular swim practices in the Caribbean Sea. The club is still successful today and is a great way to get some sunshine and ocean therapy for current SGU students.

SGU: What advice would you offer to students who are considering SGU?

Dr. Nguyen: The path to becoming a doctor can be daunting and difficult. I think the most important things to remember are to follow your passions, commitment, hard work, and maintain your balance and well-being. If I could do it, you could do it too!

Find out if St. George’s University is right for you.