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Alumni Feature: Emily Frank



Image of Emily Frank's Classroom

October 20, 2016

“Every day I go to work, I find myself drawing on lessons of providing transparency, engaging patient’s influencers, identifying objectives and checking for understanding.”

Emily Frank (’08), San Francisco, CA

Emily is a Pediatric Resident at UCSF’s Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved Program (PLUS).

Why did you join TFA? “I joined TFA because I wanted the opportunity to teach in a low-income public school within a wider support structure. Growing up, I lived in a racially homogeneous state and was terribly unaware of the ways race and socioeconomic status played into the quality of public education. Once I discovered how much my zip code predicted the quality of public education I would receive and the likelihood of high school graduation and college attendance, I became angry and sought opportunities to work with youth to provide a quality education and help them realize their full potential.”

Favorite TFA Memory? “During my second year in the classroom, I invited a group of 5 scientists from UC Berkeley for ‘Scientist Day’. My students had been preparing for days and had been practicing handshakes and writing open ended questions. Watching my students light up at the opportunity to meet ‘real scientists’, practice their best handshakes and introductions, ask phenomenal open ended questions, and really engage in conversations about scientific research was amazing (they also loved using microscopes, petri dishes, and pipettes to plate bacteria.) I loved seeing them discover that scientists could come from all backgrounds.”

How has TFA impacted you? “Many of the lessons I learned through TFA helped change the trajectory of my career. I learned that peer pressure is the strongest force on earth, that with enough scaffolding kids can do anything, and that despite popular belief, kids truly care about their health. These discoveries led me towards a career in Pediatrics. I am currently a 2nd year pediatric resident at UCSF’s Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved Program (PLUS). Every day I go to work, I find myself drawing on lessons of providing transparency, engaging patient’s influencers, identifying objectives and checking for understanding. Most importantly, TFA taught me the importance of empowering youth to make large scale change. In my non clinic time, I work to build youth participatory action research programs that help youth identify and act on the health needs of their communities.”

Colleges attended:

Dartmouth College

Alliant International University

Tufts University School of Medicine

Community activitiesSummer Health Bridge OUSD, #DoNoHarm Coalition

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