Lilian Ho

Lilian Ho

Job Title
Pediatric Resident
Seattle Children's Hospital
Vassar College
University of Washington School of Medicine
Corps Year: 
Corps Region: 
Bay Area
Alumni Region: 

While teaching, Lilian developed a love for inspiring students and gaining a deeper understanding of their lives. The challenges they faced prevented many of her students from succeeding at school and she was eager to help. Her work on TFA’s staff gave her insight into the vast alumni network and all of the different opportunities to stay connected and continue to develop your career. She believes the role of a physician is to educate. Though the scenario is different-—working one-on-one instead of in a classroom—effective communication is crucial. Patients and families should be able to demonstrate understanding of their condition and their treatment. Her commitment to working in areas that lack access to health care was directly influenced by her work with students in a high-need community.

Career Path

Teach For America: Bay Area Corps
Lilian taught high school biology and says the relationships she developed with her students, plus the ability to instill a love of science and learning, were highlights of her experience.
Alumni Coordinator, Teach For America
Lilian developed and executed communications and programs to engage alumni and provide tools, resources, events, and other opportunities for alumni to continue their development.
University of Washington School of Medicine
Lilian chose UW because it’s a top school for primary care. She worked abroad in the Dominican Republic and Kenya and also completed a 20-week integrated rural rotation.
Pediatric Resident, Seattle Children’s Hospital
Lilian saw pediatrics as a natural evolution of her teaching experience, where differentiating her approach and communicating effectively—especially with parents—could be applied to health care.
Alaska Track: Seattle Children’s Hospital
Lilian spends months working in rural Alaska, where some families don’t even have running water or electricity, to help bridge the disparities in health care that mirror disparities in education.

Q & A

How does your work as a pediatrician pull from your work as a teacher?

Education is a large part of my work as a pediatrician. I teach families how to take care of their health in ways they can understand. Our clinics have white boards so we can draw for visual learners, we give printouts for patients to take home, and I differentiate my communication approach for each family and check for understanding at the end of an appointment.

How has your teaching experience influenced your medical career?

It inspired me to work toward equity through the lens of medicine. Like I did in the corps, I plan to work in underserved and low-resource areas where physicians are needed most. I currently spend a portion of my time working in rural Alaska to help patients in areas that have limited access to health care.

Did you always know you wanted to teach at some point?

After high school, I planned to go into research. During junior year, a public health study abroad program in South Africa showed me that I wanted to help people more directly. Teaching allowed me to do this while pursuing my passion for science, inspiring students and helping to fill a need for science teachers.

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