A big part of what makes A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) exceptional is its students. One student making her mark is Kathleen Douangchak, OMS I. She is embarking on an exciting career in osteopathic medicine and working toward family medicine so she can treat patients of all ages.
Douangchak realized her desire to pursue medicine when she was in Burkina Faso with the Peace Corps. From there, she did research to determine what medical path to pursue.
“Many of my college-track and field teammates took the doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) route and absolutely loved it,” Douangchak said. “I shadowed a neuromusculoskeletal medicine and osteopathic manipulative medicine physician and witnessed how he was able to treat his patients with his hands and that was it for me. I wanted to be a DO.”
Douangchak is also devoted to extracurricular activities that enhance and support the experience of other students, including Student Government Association (SGA) president of the class of 2023 and future SGA vice president of the student body (2020-2021), founder and president of the ATSU Photography Club, and ATSU-SOMA ambassador.
“I chose ATSU because of its focus on training the future healthcare force in serving the underserved. I chose SOMA because of the ‘1+3’ curriculum (one year in class, three years hands-on learning). I love that I will be able to gain additional clinical experience starting my second year at the San Ysidro Health Center,” Douangchak said.
After graduating from ATSU-SOMA and completing her residency, Douangchak hopes to practice in an underserved area of California. Additionally, she hopes to make an impact with non-governmental organizations of isolated villages in developing countries, where she wants to help develop programs that would improve preventive healthcare.
Douangchak is ready to cheer on her fellow classmates and offers advice to those considering a career in osteopathic medicine.
“I would say believe in yourself, surround yourself with people who support you, and put in a lot of hard work. You can do it,” Douangchak said.