Although Natcha Rummaneethorn, MD ’20, will continue her career amid the hustle and bustle of New York City, her passion for medicine began during medical mission trips to the rural villages outside of her native Bangkok, Thailand. While the two areas look almost nothing alike, she said there are similarities when it comes to healthcare.
“Ever since those mission trips, I’ve wanted to work in underserved areas where people need the most help and don’t have adequate healthcare access,” said Dr. Rummaneethorn, who is a first-year emergency medicine resident at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan.
Dr. Rummaneethorn shared what she looks forward to most in her residency and how prepared she feels for the next step in her career.
SGU: What led you to go into medicine?
Dr. Rummaneethorn: My father is a dermatologist, and my mom is an ICU nurse. They influenced me to go into medicine to a certain point, but what really drove me was a medical mission in Thailand through my church. We provided medical care and supplies to rural areas in Thailand, such as villages in the mountains or hills where there’s difficult access to healthcare and hospitals. They are without basic equipment and simple medications like aspirin or ibuprofen that we have commonly, and for them, it’s two to three hours to the nearest hospital.
SGU: Why did you choose to enter emergency medicine?
Dr. Rummaneethorn: I enjoy the fast-paced nature of an emergency department. In general, I try to do things as efficiently as possible, and I like that kind of nature in emergency medicine. Also, there’s always something new for you to see, and we have to have at least basic knowledge for every specialty because we receive patients with a wide array of problems. I’m looking forward to practicing in New York City because of the diverse patient population and the level of training I’ll obtain to handle the most severe situations.
SGU: How would you describe your time at SGU?
Dr. Rummaneethorn: My academic experience at SGU was great due to the rigorous curriculum as well as a number of excellent faculties that provided superb education, such as the biochemistry and pharmacology professors in particular. Also, being on the island of Grenada, the location gave me numerous opportunities to have hands-on experiences with local Grenadians. These experiences allowed me to grow my clinical knowledge and skills as an aspiring physician. On top of that, I had a chance to learn about the Caribbean culture, enabling me to be equipped for taking care of my patients who are of diverse backgrounds during my clinical rotations in Brooklyn.
SGU: How often did you come across an SGU grad during your clinical rotations?
Dr. Rummaneethorn: One of the major benefits of SGU is its large alumni network. If utilized appropriately and effectively, this will turn into a very useful tool in preparing for a residency application. During my clinical rotations, I was extremely surprised at how many attendings I met who turned out to be SGU alumni. They were ready to help me as well as other SGU students rotating with them.
SGU: What advice would you have for a Thai student who was entering medical school?
Dr. Rummaneethorn: Students should also reach out for help early. I prepared myself for my residency application from day one. In my first semester, I attended a lecture with Dr. [John] Madden, who’s an SGU grad and former emergency physician, about emergency medicine, and from there I tried to attend all the seminars that I could. I feel like they really paid off because each helped prepare me for the application process.
– Brett Mauser